Handicapping the Comedies

Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Kicking & Screaming (May 13)
Pro: Will Ferrell + kids + soccer rage = money in the bank.
Con: Ponderous sportsmanship message = corny.

The Honeymooners (June 10)
Pro: Cedric the Entertainer as Ralph Kramden could be boffo: Barbershop on a bus.
Con: Cedric could be reduced to a bellowing blowhard. And how are they going to handle “To the moon, Alice!”?

Herbie: Fully Loaded (June 24)
Pro: The trailer, featuring a souped-up Herbie racing around like a NASCAR champ, is shockingly … fun.
Con: The trailer, featuring Lindsay Lohan looking like she’s outgrown this sort of family fare in more ways than one, is unsettlingly … grim.

Bewitched (June 24)
Pro: Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell as Samantha and Darrin in a postmodern, making-of-a-remaking-of-a-sitcom premise? How clever!
Con: Clever is what collapses when you’re opening the same summer as Jessica Simpson in Dukes of Hazzard hot pants.

Wedding Crashers (July 15)
Pro: Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as guys who invade nuptial parties to score chicks—it’s Swingers with bouquets and garter-tossing!
Con: Sorry, no downside on this: If this isn’t a smash, we’ll rent a tuxedo and eat it.

The Bad News Bears (July 22)
Pro: Billy Bob Thornton in the Walter Matthau role; if Billy could make a bad Santa a hit, his boozing baseball coach should be a crowd-pleaser.
Con: Bad Santa was an adult black comedy; if the tone here isn’t just right, it’ll drive away kids and parents.

The Pink Panther (August 5)
Pro: Steve Martin is probably the only contemporary comedian who could make you set aside your memories of Peter Sellers.
Con: The aftertaste of earlier Steve-pickin’-up-the-paycheck efforts like Cheaper by the Dozen or (shudder) Sgt. Bilko.

The 40 Year Old Virgin (August 19)
Pro: Daily Show and The Office star Steve Carrell continues witty, ironic silliness as the title character.
Con: For an opening-weekend 18–24 moviegoer, putting 40 Year Old and Virgin in the same title is like calling your film Finnegans Wake Silas Marner.

Handicapping the Comedies