Well, this review will be a bit different. Tonight, I’m watching Identity Thief at an outside presentation at Lakeside Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Yes, this is the same Lakeside Park that Rush sang about back in 1975. Open Concept Films are presenting a movie under the stars each Friday in August, this week is Identity Thief and next week, I’m really excited to see them showing Back to the Future.
In order to put my review up quickly tonight, I’m pre-doing the preamble so I can just finish it off and spout my opinions from my phone. Now, I haven’t seen Identity Thief yet or any real “comedies” lately, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard good and bad things about it, but it one thing is certain, this may just prove my “crowd mentality theory”. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, I watch my movies at home and alone, and in the past, some of the movies people have raved about, I didn’t find as funny as they made them out to be. Could the laughter of the surrounding crowd influence our own enjoyment? I think it does sometimes, but will find out shortly. As for Identity Thief, as I said, I’ve heard good and bad; some have said all the comedy is in the trailer, and some have said it was enjoyable but would never be a “re-watch”. Recently I got caught up…alright, I finally watched Arrested Development for the first time about two months ago, marathoning through the first three seasons. Based on the Identity Thief trailer, I’m not sure if I can see Jason Bateman as anything other than Michael Bluth anymore.
Okay, the movie is finished, the screen taken down, and the gear put away. It would appear a fun night was had by all, and there was a pretty good turnout. Approximately 600 people showed up to watch the film, and I must say that I enjoyed myself too. The movie was funny. I didn’t find it over the top hilarious, but the gags were good, and even the repeated punch lines worked well. Jason Bateman was Michael Bluth again. A nice guy, trying to do right for his family and dealing with the incredible situations that he finds himself in due to the uncaringness (is that a word?) of others. Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman play Sandy Bigelow Patterson. They both play that part, because she steals his identity you see. Her meddling with the real Sandy’s credit and life costs him his job and on several occasions almost gets him arrested. The only way for him to retrieve his good name is to track down the identity thief, bring her in to have her confess to the local police. I won’t go into details about how this actually happens, but suffice it to say that, in the beginning, all goes according to Sandy’s plan. On their trip back to Sandy’s home in Colorado the pair of Sandys run into skip tracers, an imprisoned drug dealers enforcers, the police and a host of characters who can’t quite see past Sandy’s (if that is her real name) lies and stories.
Identity Thief doesn’t really deviate from any path you may expect, as the resentment becomes acceptance, which warms into friendship with Sandy unsure he can complete his plan and turn her in. The ending however I did enjoy as consequences are realized and prior actions are paid for. Yes it does have a “happy ending” but it’s also a fairly realistic one given the circumstances. I did enjoy the film, and will probably rent it at some point to pick up on things I may have missed. The nice thing about home viewing is that I can pause it for a bathroom break, but with 599 other people around, that wasn’t an option tonight and when nature calls, you can’t put it on hold. The crowd may have made the film a little more enjoyable for me because I got to see how others were reacting. The shared “oohs” and “aaaahs” and even the one guy at the back who laughs at the wrong things only heightened the experience of a good, funny film and an enjoyable night in the park.
Congratulations again, and many thanks to the Open Concept Films team who organized the evening, That’s Entertainment who sponsored the evening, the City of St. Catharines for facilitating the use of the park, and Community Care who benefited from the donated canned goods from those who attended. If you have the chance to do something like this in your town (or if you’re in the St. Catharines, Ontario area next Friday) I urge you to do so, not just to enjoy a free film, but to remember and realize how many people enough small donations can benefit.
Posted on 13-08-17, in 3.5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Amanda Peet, City of St. Catharines, Community Care, Identity Thief, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Lakeside Park, Melissa McCarthy, Open Concept Films, That's Entertainment. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.