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Today is the last Oprah show.  After 25 years, Oprah is giving up her daily talk show to concentrate on her OWN channel.  One of Oprah Winfrey’s great gifts is making everyone in the audience feel not just that we know her but that she is our friend.  Some other television personalities invite us into their lives, but I think their faux-self-deprecation always comes across as narcissistic and needy.  But Oprah avoids the TMI over-reveal while still making us feel that we are on a journey with her.  She is utterly comfortable with the biggest stars and most powerful business and political leaders on the planet while never losing her sense of all-out fan-ship.  Even though no one is more influential than she is, we know she identifies with us more than she does with them.

The Wrap has a good list of the eight most defining moments of Oprah’s past 25 years.  For me, though, the most memorable moments were not the ones with celebrities or giveaways.  They were the privileged moments in which ordinary people struggling with extraordinary challenges shared their lives.  I was very touched in yesterday’s show when the young people who were able to go to college because of Oprah filled the stage.

I believe Oprah’s best and most important work is ahead and look forward to OWN under her full-time leadership.  Thanks for a quarter-century of programs that got people reading great books and encouraged viewers to follow their dreams and believe in their own power.

What’s it called again when you suffer the morning-after consequences of a wild night of extravagent, if debauched, fun?  Oh yes, a hangover.

This second night out with the wolf pack of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), suffers from sequelitis, that headache-y uncertainty about exactly what it was that worked the last time and inability to make its premise seem fresh.  It feels as stale as the air in the squalid hotel room our heroes find themselves in with no idea of how they got there.  But it will still do as a taste of the hair of the dog.  The laughs may be fewer and  the gasps more “ewww” than “wow,” but there is still some pleasure in seeing those guys suffer.

A couple of years have passed and Stu is about to get married, not to the stripper he wed in Las Vegas in the first movie but to a lovely girl named Lauren (Jamie Chung).  As a tribute to her heritage, the wedding is going to take place in  Thailand.  Stu insists that brunch at IHOP with Phil and Doug (Justin Bartha) is all the bachelor party he wants (and he puts a napkin over his orange juice glass just to make sure no  one is slipping him a roofy this time).  But Doug persuades Stu to invite his brother-in-law Alan, and they are joined by Lauren’s 16-year-old brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), a prodigy who plays cello and is pre-med at Stanford.

Two nights before the wedding, after Lauren’s father insults Stu in a toast, the guys agree to have one drink on the beach before bed.  And Stu, Phil, and Alan wake up the next morning, as they did in the first one, with no memory of what happened the night before and a lot of incontrovertible evidence that what did happen was dangerous, probably criminal, and certainly disgusting.  Stu’s face bears the Maori tattoo they saw in the last movie on Mike Tyson.  There is a severed finger that appears to belong to Teddy, who is missing.  In his place is their old nemsis, Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong).  And instead of the last film’s tiger, there is a monkey wearing a Rolling Stones jean jacket.

They have somehow found themselves in Bangkok, and their search for Teddy involves an aged mute monk in a wheelchair, an American tattoo artist, a strip club, Russian drug dealers, some panicked phone calls, a Molotov cocktail, and both human and animal gun shot wounds.

The trick in comedies like this one is to find the sweet spot between the familiar and the surprising and between the shocking and the disturbing.  It misses.  Some in the audience will be happy to see the structure of the original repeated but most will wish for something new.  And the key to comedy is the “almost,” the ability to have it both ways by making sure the chaos is disruptive but not conclusively so.  Trashy is good.  Tawdry, not so much.  And aren’t we a couple of decades past finding humor in homosexual panic?

There are some very funny moments, with a hilarious password joke, Stu’s version of “Alan-town,”  and some deliciously weird comments from Galifianakis and Jeong.  But it misses the sense of genuine connection between the characters we just saw in “Bridesmaids.”  The first one ended with a satisfying sense of lessons learned.  This one should end with an intervention.

 

I love the silly songs from Bob and Larry and the Veggie Tales gang!

The first-ever live show DVD from Big Idea entertainment is this delightful collection of the silliest silly songs ever sung, including my two favorites, “The Hairbrush Song” and “Endangered Love” (which we refer to as “Barbara Manatee” in our house).  The live show has classics like “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” and some new songs, plus dancing, bubbles, confetti, some peeks backstage, and some lessons about sharing and friendship.  It won’t be out until next month but I have one DVD to give away to a lucky fan.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Veggie” in the subject line and tell me your favorite silly song.  Don’t forget your address!  I’ll select one winner at random on June 1.  Good luck and stay silly!

 

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Disney shared this interview with Dianna Agron of  I Am Number Four, out May 24 on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Was it fun to leave the Glee gang behind for some big-screen action with your new movie, I Am Number Four?

It was a lot of fun to try something new, but I knew I was going back to Glee after we finished filming I Am Number Four. It was only a brief change for me, but it was great to step into a whole new world.

When did you discover that you clicked so well with your co-star, Alex Pettyfer?

When I was cast on I Am Number Four, I hadn’t met Alex. I had dinner with the movie’s director, D.J. Caruso, a couple of nights before our first table read with the big studio executives and that’s when D.J. said to me, “Perhaps you should meet Alex before the table read?” I thought that was a really good idea. 

Alex has described you as an actress with an old-school movie star quality. How does that make you feel?

That’s very nice of him. It’s pretty hard to accept that compliment because I grew up watching and loving old-school actresses like Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Katharine Hepburn. They were always effortless to watch, but I’m growing and trying to challenge myself to get to that place. If I do get to where they are it would be amazing. That’s my goal.

Your character in the new movie is very romantic. Are you similar in real life?

I think so. I really love the character of Sarah because there are a lot of similarities to how I was at school. Sarah loves photography, and so do I. I really started to get into it at school. I have about 10 cameras now and they all have different purposes.

What else do you like to get up to in your spare time?

I love cooking. In fact, my favorite thing to do on a weekend is to have friends over and cook dinner. We’ll sit around, talk and play board games. I love doing things like that, although I also love to be outside and travel. I have such wanderlust. I try to go somewhere new for every vacation and there are so many places that I have yet to visit.

Are you into Twitter and the internet?

Computers are not a huge part of my life. I write, so I use a computer daily for that – but I’m not a big web surfer. I surf the internet every now and then, but it’s not like a two-hour a day, three-hour a day obsession of mine.

Are you a fan of fashion?

I love clothes. I like all the classic designers, but then I also love new, youthful and creative styles. I love it all.

How would you describe your personal sense of style?

It’s very eclectic. When I go to award shows and things like that, I think it’s okay to take risks – but I don’t like to go too crazy with it. On a day-to-day basis, I love vintage clothes, but I also love dressing however I feel that day. One day, I might want to dress like a boy. Another day I might want to put on a pretty, vintage, girly teacup dress. I think you can express so much of yourself through the way you dress and I am very much a girl in that sense.

What kind of girl were you at school?

At school, I was a nerd in some ways and pretty average in other ways. I was always the nice girl, so I had friends in many different areas. That worked well for me.

Did you enjoy school?

I loved school. That doesn’t mean I never fell asleep in a class, but it interested me and at the same time, I knew where I wanted to end up. Towards the end of school I was always thinking, ‘Oh, I’m so close to being able to move out of the house and go to the next step.’ But you have to try and enjoy everything you can while you’re there because you’re never going to have that lack of responsibility again. At school, you don’t have to pay bills and you don’t have to think about things like that. You can just be a kid.

Did you fall in love at school?

I think love is pretty non-existent in high school. I was busy, so I didn’t care. I had one boyfriend and he cheated on me, so I gave up hope for a while and I just focused on everything else.

Wait a minute… He cheated on you?

It’s never good to find out that your boyfriend is cheating on you with the girl in his Math class and then you have to look at them walking down the hallway every day. I just focused on my friends instead.

So what do you look for in a guy?

I look for people that are open and honest. Those are the kind of people that I want to be close to in my life because it’s never fun to wear a mask.