The sudden development and greenlight of ABC’s upcoming Muppets series left it vaguely unclear how the gang would function in a regular mockumentary format, but Kermit and Miss Piggy dropped by TCA to offer a clue. The series will revolve around the behind-the-scenes workings of Piggy’s own late-night talk show, complete with real guests the likes of Imagine Dragons or Reese Witherspoon.
Add yet another live-action project to Disney’s growing pile: the studio is developing a live-action film for Peter Pan’s magical sidekick Tinker Bell, who has earned a rather large following in her own right with various animated films and merchandise. In addition to the announcement of this new development, we’ve also learned that Disney has performed a little casting magic, landing Reese Witherspoon for the title role — which is some seriously perfect casting.
Reese Witherspoon and Fox Searchlight scored a big commercial and critical success with Wild, so it makes sense that the two would team up for the actress’ next big drama. Imagine Gravity, but what happens after Sandra Bullock goes home — that’s similar to the plot of Pale Blue Dot, Witherspoon’s next project with the studio.
Reese Witherspoon has had an interesting time lately: the producer of Gone Girl, nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Wild, and the recent star of the not-so-funny Hot Pursuit. But Witherspoon is funny — she’s also immensely charming and versatile (obviously), and she knows how to light up a room. Unfortunately, she’s not really the star of this week’s SNL, suffering from the same fate that befell Scarlett Johansson in last week’s underwhelming episode. Throughout the bulk of the episode, Witherspoon is more like a supporting player than the star, and I’m growing concerned about how terrible these female-hosted episodes have been lately and what that says about SNL in general.
Last night’s generally unremarkable episode of SNL peaked early when it took advantage of its proximity to Mother’s Day to do something kind of remarkable. As part of her opening monologue, guest host Reese Witherspoon declared that the show was going to mark the occasion by bringing each cast member out with his or her mother...and then forcing them to apologize for their childhood transgressions.
Reese Witherspoon has translated her successful acting career into a successful producing career, backing a crop of female-driven projects including Gone Girl and Wild. Her next project takes Witherspoon to the small screen, as producer and star of a new HBO limited series called Big Little Lies, co-starring Nicole Kidman.
Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara are talented actors, but they’re not miracle workers. Hot Pursuit asks them to perform the cinematic equivalent of turning water into wine by wringing laughs out of 90 minutes of shrill screaming matches and goofy costumes. The movie ends with what’s essentially an admission of guilt: end credit outtakes, which are almost always an indication that a comedy isn’t funny and knows it and is trying to hide that fact by sending the audience out of the theater with a couple desperate snickers and a warm feeling over the fact that the actors had a good time making the film. Good for them. Hot Pursuit is still a clunker.
SNL proved a bit less mightier than The Avengers this past weekend, in spite of a few inspired bits with host Scarlett Johansson, but with only two installments of the 40th anniversary season left, Reese Witherspoon is in Hot Pursuit. Watch her and Aidy Bryant ditch out for a gorgeous spring day in our first look at the year’s penultimate SNL!
SNL won’t return for another week with Avengers: Age of Ultron star Scarlett Johansson suiting up on May 2, and #NoSpoilers, but we already know how Season 40 will end. Hot Pursuit star Reese Witherspoon will host the subsequent week, while Louis C.K. will take the stage for the May 16 SNL finale.
April Fools’ Day is an occasion marked by silliness. Many websites choose to celebrate by tricking their readers with goofy pranks. But for every one of these hoaxes that’s funny, there are ten more that are terrible (plus our budget would not allow us to turn the site into ScreenFlush, the #1 place on the Internet dedicated to movie toilets, for a single day). So instead, let’s honor some humor professionals; the men and women who’ve made the best comedies of the last 25 years.