Thanks to highly anticipated letdowns like 'The Hangover Part II' and flat-out gut-busters like 'Bridesmaids,' this past summer was a pretty mixed bag when it came to comedies. So with another Happy Madison production on the way and a cancer comedy that's already generating some Oscar buzz, it's hard to say how the fall is going to shape up in comparison.
Whether you're as confused as we are at the surprising return of Mr. Bean, or are counting down the days until Ladies' Night with Sarah Jessica Parker, click through to weigh in on the best and the worst of this fall's comedies.
'Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star'
Opens: September 9
Who's in It? Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci and Stephen Dorff; directed by Tom Brady; written by Adam Sandler, Allen Covert and Nick Swardson
What's It About? Nick Swardson plays Bucky Larson, a dork who discovers that his parents were 1970s porn stars, so, naturally, he feels it's his destiny to go to L.A. and join the business himself. Once there, he becomes a big star and, well, hijinks presumably ensue.
Are We Excited? We'd like to be, but it's tough. We really like Nick Swardson and we'd love for him to find a role that elevates him to the comedy star he could very well be, but we're just not sure this is it. It's a Happy Madison production, which means you pretty much know what you're gonna get as far as raunchy jokes and silly characters are concerned. Let's hope it's more 'Happy Gilmore' and less 'Zookeeper.'
|You bet.||123 (20.1%)|
|No way.||490 (79.9%)|
'Burke and Hare'
Opens: September 9
Who's in It? Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis and Isla Fisher; directed by John Landis; written by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft
What's It About? Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis star as two poor blokes in 19th century England who make a fortune killing sick, unfortunate victims, and then selling the corpses to a medical instructor who dissects the bodies for research. While hiding in the shadows, they end up finding love and adventure. Believe it or not, this black comedy is based on a very true story.
Are We Excited? This is another toss up. In addition to Pegg and Serkis, the cast is loaded with great actors like Isla Fisher, Tim Curry and Christopher Lee. And the film marks the comeback of '80s legend John Landis, who masterfully balanced laughs with terror in 'An American Werewolf in London.' But reviews haven't been good, and Landis was never quite the same after the tragic accident on his 'Twilight Zone Movie' set that killed 3 people. There's enough talented people involved in this production to earn it some goodwill, but is it enough to make us laugh again at grim subject matter?
|You bet.||243 (51.3%)|
|No way.||231 (48.7%)|
'I Don't Know How She Does It'
Opens: September 16
Who's in It? Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan; directed by Douglas McGrath; written by Aline Brosh McKenna
What's It About? Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, Sarah Jessica Parker stars a Kate Reddy, a hedge-fund manager and mother of two that somehow juggles her busy career with her demanding family life. Expect some laughs, some tears, and some "awws" as she finds a way to make it all work.
Are We Excited? You're either the audience for this kind of movie, or you're not. If you love SJP or can relate to bringing your kid's lice into the workplace, you've probably already marked this on your calendar -- right after the kid's doctor appointment, your date night with your husband, and the deadline for the big proposal at work.
|You bet.||95 (19.5%)|
|No way.||392 (80.5%)|
Opens: September 30
Who's in It? Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anna Kendrick; directed by Jonathan Levine; written by Will Reiser.
What's It About? Based on screenwriter Will Reiser's real-life battle with cancer, a seemingly healthy man in his 20s is diagnosed with cancer out of the blue and he has to lean on his dysfunctional friends and family to get through it.
Are We Excited? Definitely. Besides the Oscar buzz swirling around this interesting comedy, it's about time someone took the seriousness of cancer and lightened the mood a bit (in a tasteful way, of course).
|You bet.||541 (85.7%)|
|No way.||90 (14.3%)|
'Tucker & Dale vs. Evil'
Opens: September 30
Who's in It? Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine and Katrina Bowden; directed by Eli Craig; written by Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson
What's It About? Two friendly rednecks are treated as serial killers when a group of stupid teens turn up at their campground and mistake their kindness for homicidal tendencies.
Are We Excited? No, the title isn't doing it any favors, but 'Tucker & Dale vs. Evil' seems like a pretty inspired spin on the tired teen slasher formula. Even if the concept was garbage, our love for Alan Tudyk and horror comedies is so strong that we'd probably end up seeing it regardless. Doubtful that this will be a game changer like 'Shaun of the Dead,' but if it's anywhere near as funny as the trailer, we can't help but get excited.
|You bet.||279 (59.2%)|
|No way.||192 (40.8%)|
'Johnny English Reborn'
Opens: October 28
Who's in It? Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson and Rosamund Pike; directed by Oliver Parker; written by William Davies and Hamish McColl
What's It About? Bumbling secret agent Johnny English comes out of retirement to protect a Chinese premier and unravel a web of conspiracy ... with hilarious results.
Are We Excited? This one of those movies that makes us wonder, Why? Was any out there actually asking for a sequel to 'Johnny English'? For a movie we nearly forgot existed, we're pretty confused as to why it's being brought back from obscurity eight years after the fact. Nevertheless, there was a time in our young lives when we though 'Mr. Bean' was the funniest thing we'd ever seen, and that carries some weight. The trailer might not be doing much for us grown-ups, but we wouldn't be surprised if the kids start rolling in the aisles at this one.
|You bet.||179 (38.1%)|
|No way.||291 (61.9%)|
Monday, Aug. 29: Horror
Tuesday, Aug. 30: Dramas
Wednesday, Aug. 31: Family Films
Thursday, Sept. 1: Action
Which comedy are you most excited to see this fall?
'Johnny English Reborn' photos courtesy of Universal Pictures; '50/50' photos courtesy of Summit Entertainment; 'Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star' photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures; 'Burke and Hare' photo courtesy of IFC Films; 'I Don't Know How She Does It' photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox; 'Tucker & Dale vs. Evil' photos courtesy of Maple Pictures.