Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sudekis fronts this “summery romantic comedy with a dirty mind” (thank you, Tribeca Film Guide) in which a perpetual bachelor tries to put together one last big bash — the titular event — at his dad’s Hamptons beach house. The supporting cast includes Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, Hot Fuzz’s Lucy Punch, and Sudekis’s SNL castmate Will Forte.
The Swell Season
Consciously or not, thematic similarities often pop up in Tribeca’s documentary programs. In 2009, several films (Con Artist, Blank City, Burning Down The House) touched on the underground downtown art, music, and film scene; this year, several docs are tackling — from very different angles — modern popular music. This one focuses on Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who famously fell in love while making Once, but found the strength of that relationship tested by the two-year world tour that followed. Yes, the artsy black-and-white cinematography has tripped our Rattle and Hum alarm as well, but this one’s got real potential.
Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
This documentary profile is directed by actor Michael Rappaport (Bamboozled, Cop Land), a longtime fan of the groundbreaking hip-hop group. But Tribe member Q-Tip is apparently not a fan of the film; “I am not in support of the a tribe called quest documentary,” he tweeted in December. “The filmmaker should respect the band to the point of honoring the few requests that’s (sic) was made abt the piece.” No word on whether Rappaport chose to honor those mysterious “requests” or whether he stuck with the decision to make a real documentary; either way, should make for an interesting film.
God Bless Ozzy Osbourne
One of the biggest hits of last year’s Tribeca fest was the warts-and-all portrait Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. This profile of everyone’s favorite bat-biter-turned-reality-star may very well fill that film’s slot this year. While the credits have the scent of a puff piece (son Jack is a producer), the Osbournes have never been much for hiding their dirty laundry, so this could either be a penetrating portrait or an absolute train wreck. Or, of course, it could very well be both.
Jesus Henry Christ
Dennis Lee’s comedy certainly boasts the most provocative title of the festival. It also stars Toni Collette and Michael Sheen, which is about all we need to hear for it to move to the top of our “must see” list. (It will also presumably get some publicity help from its executive producer, one Julia Roberts.)
The great documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney had no less than three films at last year’s Tribeca fest: My Trip to al-Qaeda, the Eliot Spitzer doc Client 9 (which screened as a work-in-progress), and Freakonomics (an omnibus documentary, to which he contributed a segment). He only has one film showing this year, the slacker. But the good news is, that one movie is this collaboration with ESPN Films, who originally slated it as part of their excellent 30 for 30 series (which presented some of the best documentaries, sports or otherwise, of the last year).
Tribeca’s online film guide is here, and your author is eagerly filling out his festival dance card. What films do you think are worth checking out?