ALEX CHADWICK, host:
OK, escapism may begin with happy hour this evening but it continues if you go to the movies this weekend. Here is Mark Jordan Legan with what the nation's critics think of two new comedies and a sexy thriller, it's Slate.com's Summary Judgment.
MARK JORDAN LEGAN: Tina Fey and her old SNL pal, Amy Poehler, teamed up in the fertile comedy "Baby Mama." Fey plays a hardworking, single business executive who hires Poehler, the tough working girl, to be her surrogate.
(Soundbite of movie "Baby Mama")
Ms. TINA FEY: (As Kate Holbrook) Did you just stick your gum under my coffee table?
Ms. AMY POEHLER: (As Angie Ostrowiski) I don't know.
Ms. FEY: (As Kate Holbrook) What do you mean, I don't know? Do you think you're in at Arby's right now?
Ms. POEHLER: (As Angie Ostrowiski) You know, I wished I was at an Arby's because there's better food and cooler people there.
LEGAN: That's true about Arby's, by the way. But even though the critics applaud the leads, they're split on the movie. Variety cheers, "Fey is a delight!" The Charlotte Observer observed, "it's the chemistry between the stars that makes the film stand out." But the New York Post cries, "crushingly predictable." And for the Hugh Jackman fans out there, you can see the Aussie star play naughty in the sexy thriller "Deception." Ewan McGregor plays a quiet office drone who has a chance meeting with suave, mysterious Jackman, who introduces him to a decadent, underground sex club full of lust, intrigue, danger, and bad lighting.
(Soundbite of movie "Deception")
Mr. EWAN MCGREGOR: (As Jonathan McQuarry) Downstairs, you talked about a rule. Are there others?
Unidentified Woman: No rough stuff. I say if that's your thing, take it elsewhere. No business talk and no names.
LEGAN: And no cell phones. I had no idea an underground sex club had so many rules. Unfortunately all the panting and petting only left the critics feelings frigid, a bore. "Uninspired and disconnected" moans the Seattle Post Intelligencer and Variety complains, "a thin thriller, burdened by clunky dialogue and prone to telegraphing its twists."
And those two great American icons, Harold and Kumar are back. Yes, the first stoner comedy underperformed at the box office, but became a huge DVD seller with the college crowd. So the two anti-heroes return for more adventure in "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay." And yes, even Neil Patrick Harris returns to play a version of himself. Psst, for those of you waiting for the plot points, you're not the target audience.
(Soundbite of movie "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay")
Unidentified Actor: Sir, it is our job as airport security to search for all possible weapons or illegal drugs.
Mr. KAL PENN: (As Kumar Patel) So because of the color of my skin, you assumed that I have any drugs on me? Are you a racist?
Unidentified Actor: Racist? Dude, I am black.
Mr. PENN: (As Kumar Patel) Please, dude, you are barely even brown. Compared to me, you look like Matthew Perry.
LEGAN: The nation's critics are split, but let's be honest, the film is not for them. I asked Josh, a stoner at a nearby community college, and he said, it was like totally funny. But Village Voices begs to differ with Josh, calling it "mind numbing" and the Dallas Observer finds Harold and Kumar "dumb." But Salon.com smiles, "giddy, freewheeling, and sweet-natured." You know also one of the upsides to releasing a stoner comedy, the amount of munchies bought at the concession stand. I'll take some nachos. OK, one nacho? No not one, I'll take as many nachos as you have back there and a deep dish pizza. Sir, we don't sell deep dish pizza. Oh no, wait, never mind, I already have one in my backpack. Cool.
CHADWICK: Mark Jordan Legan is a writer who just is now here in Los Angeles.
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