The Guilt Trip (2012) PG-13

guilttripJoyce and Andrew Brewster embark on a cross-country trip that tests the limits of their mother/son relationship. Underneath all the overbearing mothering and the know-it-all son attitude, they discover some basic truths about life and each other. Barbra Streisand's comedic timing makes The Guilt Trip a fun pick. All it's missing is a good sing-along on the road!
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Love Is All You Need (2012) R

Here’s a perfect movie to watch when you feel like you need a “romantic comedy.”  This sleeper-of-a-movie stars Pierce Brosnan as a wealthy but grumpy widower who travels to Italy for his son’s marriage to a young Danish girl. As the two very different families meet to prepare for and celebrate their children’s wedding, love and hope for a wonderful future materialize. Quirky but warm and funny, Love Is All You Need just might fit the bill.

Despicable Me (2010) PG

Despicable Me is a laugh out loud movie that you can watch even if you don’t have kids. Steve Carrell is perfect as the voice of Gru, a super villain scheming to steal the moon. What he doesn’t bargain on are three orphan girls who steal his heart. This is a very funny movie.

And the fun continues with Minion Madness and Despicable Me 2.
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The Simpsons Movie (2007) PG-13

Okay, if you like The Simpsons television show at all, you will laugh out loud at the movie more or less all the way to the end. It’s basically a supersized version of the TV show, and it even has moments that touch your heart (in a Simpsons’ sort of way).

In The Simpsons Movie, Homer has polluted Lake Springfield, which prompts the evil head of the EPA, voiced by Albert Brooks, to have a giant dome placed over the entire city. Meanwhile, the Simpson family goes on the lam to Alaska only to return to try to save their hometown which has been slated to be nuked. There is the typical Simpson family dysfunction, there is the entire Simpson cast of characters, and most importantly, there is Spider Pig. This is a fun movie!
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It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010) PG-13

It's Kind of a Funny StoryIn this quirky tale, teenager Craig (Keir Gilchrist) checks himself into the psych ward after experiencing suicidal thoughts. There, he meets a crazy mentor (Zach Galifianakis) and Noelle (Emma Roberts), a young girl his age.

This set of unlikely characters help Craig begin anew and learn more about himself in one week than he ever expected. It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a coming of age tale that makes you appreciate how lucky you are and appreciate the good things in life.
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Identity Thief (2013) R

Identity ThiefJason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy really had fun making this movie! Diana (McCarthy) is a con artist who is living it up thanks to stealing Sandy Patterson’s (Bateman) identity.

Before his world comes crashing down around him, Sandy travels from Colorado, where he lives, to Florida in a desperate attempt to find Diana and clear his good name. Of course, to make life crazier, throw in a couple of “bad guys” and a bounty hunter who are also chasing Diana. Identity Thief is a funny movie – great for a Saturday night at-home date!
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A Fish Called Wanda (1988) R

This is a laugh-out-loud movie from start to finish. Otto (Kevin Kline) and his girlfriend Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) team up with Ken (Michael Palin) and Tom Georgeson to rob a jewelry store. When Tom is arrested, the others scramble to find where he has hidden the loot.

While Wanda woos Tom’s lawyer Archie (John Cleese) to find out the location of the jewels, Ken, who has an uncontrollable stutter, goes through many hilarious, botched attempts to kill the one witness to the crime. Kevin Kline steals the show, though, in his Academy Award winning role as the mindless thug, Otto. A Fish Called Wanda is a must see!
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Dave (1993) PG-13

When the president of the United States has a stroke while engaging in extramarital activities, his aides avoid a scandal by finding a good-natured look-alike named Dave (Kevin Kline) to take his place. Not beholden to any special interests, Dave starts doing things that are good for the country rather than doing what is politically savvy. His approval rating goes way up, and the country loves him.

Things start to go sour, though, when the president’s aides realize he will not do their evil bidding, and the first lady (Sigourney Weaver) starts to realize that Dave is not the man she married. Dave is one of those feel good movies that makes you smile for a long time after it’s over.

http://youtu.be/PTTe-rxTyh0

The Five-Year Engagement (2012) R

The romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement, starring Emily Blunt as Violet and Jason Segel as Tom, has some gross out moments, but it’s also a touching love story. Tom gives up a promising career as a chef to follow Violet across the country so that she can begin her career in academia. Tom has a hard time adjusting to his new life -- he stops shaving and takes to wearing an old bunny suit around the house while Violet becomes a rising star in her field. Do Tom and Violet ever get married? Check out The Five-Year Engagement to find out.

http://youtu.be/iNhAslpICxE

Spotlight: Ben Affleck

Who is Ben Affleck anyway?

After an early start at the age of eight, starring in the PBS series The Voyage of the Mimi, Ben Affleck didn’t make his big introduction into feature films until 1993 when he was cast in Dazed and Confused. After that, he did mostly independent films like Kevin Smith's Mallrats (1995) and Chasing Amy (1997).

Interestingly, in the same year he made Mimi, Affleck made the acquaintance of Matt Damon, a boy two years his senior who lived down the street. The two became best friends and, of course, eventual collaborators.

In his early years in Hollywood, tired of being turned down for the big roles in films and the forgettable supporting ones he did play, he decided to write his own script. Matt Damon was having the same trouble and together they produced a script with the kind of roles they wanted to play! Good Will Hunting (1997) was the result and it went on to win two Academy Awards (nominated for nine).

Career ups and downs followed with much media attention to romance and rehab. After many flops, he seems to have re-invented himself as a director.

He's has earned critical acclaim for directing films including The Town and Argo so perhaps Affleck's greatest talent lies behind the camera where reviews of his films call him ”a sensitive, thoughtful and collaborative” director.
Here are my choices from a long list of his films:

Sullivan's Travels (1941)

In this witty journey film, filmmaker John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make a serious social statement in his upcoming film. The only problem is he knows nothing of hardship and so sets out into Depression-era America to experience life as a hobo.

This film is a classic with a little bit of everything: romance, drama, action, comedy …and a look at life as it was for many during the Depression.

Writer/Director Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels satirizes Hollywood with all its pretension and excess. His sophisticated dialogue and fast-paced slapstick make this mix of comedy and drama a perfect blend. It may very well be the best film about Hollywood and filmmaking.

Find out additional background information on the film at TCM.com.

Jumping the Broom (2011) PG-13

This comedy is just pure fun, something to chase away the blahs. Jumping the Broom is about traditional wedding customs in the rural south. It is often a time-honored custom in modern marriages as well. And so the fun begins, a modern bride with her own ideas and a future mother-in-law from hell, determined to keep her son from his unworthy bride. It's a bumpy ride to the altar. Enjoy the ride.

We're No Angels (1955)

Looking to spend this Christmas in a nice warm tropical place? OK! How about Devil's Island circa 1895? Join Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov as three escaped convicts at Christmas in the hilarious comedy We're No Angels.

They plan to rob a shopkeeper and use the money to leave the island. Their plans begin to change when they meet Felix and Amelie Ducotel and their daughter. Felix manages, or rather mismanages, a small department store.

The convicts decide to spend Christmas with the Ducotel family. They decorate the house and prepare and serve the dinner. Just when everything is going so well, Felix's cousin Andre and Andre's nephew Paul arrive unexpectedly.

Andre is nasty bit of goods who owns the store managed by Felix. He plans to audit the books and if the store is not profitable, he will fire Felix and put him and his family into the street. Andre is just the sort of man the convicts are looking for.

Join this trio of rogues at Christmastime. There are some very funny scenes, some charming songs, and a great cast. It's a good way to enjoy part of this Christmas and/or any Christmas season.

Check out this TCM article for a behind-the-scenes look at the film. And for other Christmas films at the library, browse our lists of Christmas Movies and Family Christmas Movies.
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A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) PG

A very funny and an interesting plot. The film was brilliant, and it makes me want to read the book by Douglas Adams, A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The science fiction series was originally broadcast as a radio show on BBC radio 4. Watch A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy today.

One for the Money (2012) PG-13

To all Janet Evanovich fans: it’s Stephanie Plum, the bounty hunter, in the flesh! One for the Money is based on Evanovich’s first Stephanie Plum novel of the same name. The film comes packed full with action, laughs, and many favorite characters you know and love (even Grandma Mazer!). A fun movie!
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