Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Online Only

June 8, 2013

Predicting the summer movie sleeper hit

(Continued)

Element 2: Mix a dash of drama with a lot of levity

              

Recent example: "(500) Days of Summer" (2009), which could have been a tragedy about heartbreak if it weren't for a song-and-dance number and other amusing interludes.

               

              

Maybe it's the long hours of daylight or impending vacations, but summer months somehow become linked with our optimistic pursuit of happiness. The movie releases generally follow suit. A dark drama with political overtones can wait until later in the year, when Oscar chatter starts heating up. Summer sleeper hits carefully balance solemnity with laughter.

              

There is drama in Chris Galletta's script for "The Kings of Summer," especially when it comes to the combative interactions between Robinson's character and his single father, played by Offerman.

              

"I haven't had the chance to play a lot of emotional roles where I get to have a relationship evolve over an arc over the course of a film," Offerman said.

              

Audiences may recognize the universal difficulties of navigating that agonizing period known as adolescence. And yet for all the film's calamities, including unrequited love and broken friendships, there's a sense of grand possibility.

              

"I can remember that feeling of unlimited potential and that excitement of: What is the world going to bring to me? And what am I going to bring to the world?" Mullally said.

              

While pre-adulthood can prove painful, it's also ripe for jokes, especially the parent-child interactions. Basso's character ends up with hives because of constant nagging from his mother, played by Mullally.

              

"Why do I need to micromanage what shirt he's wearing?" she said. "And yet it's so true."

              

Adds Basso: "Rarely do I laugh reading a comedy script, but this one was unique."

              

Another 2013 sleeper: Actress Lake Bell makes her writing and directing debut with "In a World . . .," a film that also mines familial relations for laughs. Bell plays a voice coach who can never live up to her father, the king of movie trailer voiceovers. (Opens Aug. 9)

              

Element 3: Fill the cast with scene-stealers

              

Recent example: "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006), in which each of the character actors (including Collette, Carell, Paul Dano, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin) contributed memorable scenes of humor and pathos.

              

Summer sleeper hits might be devoid of the highest-paid stars, but they are often elevated by an ensemble of actors that seem optimally cast.

              

"Kings" draws from a pool of television stars and character actors, including the hilarious real-life husband-and-wife team of Offerman, whose character Ron Swanson from "Parks and Recreation" has his own cult following, and Mullally.

              

"Community" star Alison Brie and Basso, from "The Big C," play larger roles, and there is also a long list of indelible cameos. Mary Lynn Rajskub ("24") plays a bumbling police officer trying (but not too hard) to find the boys and Kumail Nanjiani ("Franklin & Bash") plays a Chinese food deliveryman whose "American name is Gary."

              

"I think [the cameos] kind of send the movie into a different stratosphere," Mullally said. "You have that level of comedy combined so seamlessly with the sort of lyrical quality of other parts of the movie."

              

Adds Offerman: "Every single person we had to work with was the funniest person I'd ever met, and that was such a smart move on [Vogt-Roberts'] part." 

              

Another 2013 potential sleeper: "The Spectacular Now" stars up-and-comers Miles Teller, who was a stand-out in the otherwise forgettable "21 & Over," and Shailene Woodley (who wowed in "The Descendants") as two high school seniors that run with different crowds and strike up an unlikely friendship. The pair won an acting award when the film premiered at Sundance. (Opens Aug. 9)

              

Element 4: Pinpoint the next big thing

Text Only
Online Only
  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read