This is probably going to be the last set of movie reviews I do in 2007 and it’s interesting that they all straddle slightly different genres.

I’ve watched quite a few films this year, ranging from dramas describing the Russian Mafia to documentaries on the health-care industry. Today, I’m going to provide a look into a grown-up version of a fairy tale, a mockumentary on parking meters, and a romantic comedy featuring a great father-son duo.

Here are my brief takes on Stardust, the Delicate Art of Parking, and the Heartbreak Kid.

Stardust is a movie that I’m not really sure how to approach. On the one hand, it definitely has fantasy elements because Claire Danes plays a fallen star. On the other hand, it’s not exactly a film catering to children, because the drama and acting is a little more complex than your typical children’s film. Even when Claire Danes went on the talk show circuit to promote the movie, she wasn’t sure how to describe it, because it’s supposed to be part fantasy, part comedy, part drama.

I thought that the fairy tale progressed reasonably well, but the action was a little too slow to maintain my interest. In the end, Stardust is a difficult film for me to recommend. It doesn’t achieve the same level of cross-marketing as something like The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter.

2.5 Stars Out of 5

delicate art of parking
The Delicate Art of Parking is perhaps one of the better mockumentaries that I have ever seen, because the subject matter is almost so mundane, so ludicrous that you wouldn’t think they could make a movie about it. After all, the premise is that we follow around the meter maids as they write tickets and tow our cars in Vancouver. Where this film really shines is with a couple of actors you may recognize from Corner Gas.

Fred Ewanuick (Hank from Corner Gas) plays an “enforcer” who goes around writing tickets and it’s hilarious how serious he takes his job. Nancy Robertson (Wanda from Corner Gas) is another “enforcer” and she really steals the limelight every time she appears on screen. Whether it be yelling back at an angry driver or drunkingly flirting with Lonny Goosen (the fake documentary maker), Nancy is gut-wretchingly funny. The Delicate Art of Parking, despite its strange premise, is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Kudos.

4 Stars Out of 5

The Heartbreak Kid - Ben Stiller
The Heartbreak Kid is pretty much your typical romantic comedy and its only saving grace is that we can’t help but laugh at everything that Ben Stiller does. When you throw in his father Jerry Stiller, you’ve got a serious one-two punch that could have you in stitches. Unfortunately, The Heartbreak Kid is just one big cliche and it offers nothing original or particularly witty. This is a shame, considering that it was created by the Farrelly brothers of Something About Mary fame. At least Malin Akerman (Lila) is nice to look at… before she gets sunburned.

3 Stars Out of 5