AT THE MOVIES
Blockers, which opens on April 5, is a light but quite raunchy comedy. Basic plot: When three parents in a nice Midwestern suburb stumble upon their daughters’ pact to lose their virginity at prom, they launch a covert one-night operation to stop the teens from sealing the deal. Ike Barinoltz, 41, plays Hunter, the father of Sam, one of the three “pact” daughters. Hunter has a hard time asserting his authority — he was ousted from his home years before for messing with the babysitter.
The daughters are played by three relative unknowns, including Gideon Adlon, 20, as Sam. This is Adlon’s first big part. She is the daughter of actress/writer Pamela Adlon, 51. Pamela had three daughters, including Gideon, with her ex-husband, director Percy Adlon, and raised them mostly alone. She turned her experience as a very busy single mother into the hit FX series Better Things. Gideon looks a lot like Pamela.
Also, look for Gina Gershon, 55, in a particularly raunchy sub-plot. By the way, Blockers marks the directorial debut of Kay Cannon, who wrote the Pitch Perfect films. Some advance reviewers say that Cannon has brought a fresh, “women’s eye” to the “teen sex comedy” genre.
On March 29, the A&E cable station began a new original docuseries, Marcia Clark Investigates the First 48. The seven-episode series explores seven of the most high-profile cases of the last 30 years. The first episode to air, on Thursday, April 12 (9 p.m.), is about murder victim Chandra Levy (many encore showings). Clark, 64, is Jewish and was born Marcia Klerks. She is famous as the prosecutor who lost the O.J. Simpson murder case.
On March 30, Netflix began streaming Happy Anniversary, an original romantic comedy/drama movie. It follows the ups-and-downs of a couple (Ben Schwartz, 36, and Noel Wells) over several years. Schwartz had a recurring role as the Jewish character Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on Parks and Recreation.
Rachel Bloom, 30, the star of the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, will guest star on the CW horror/detective show iZombie. Her episode will first air on Monday, April 8, at 9 p.m. The show’s backstory is unique: Liz, a medical student, becomes a zombie, but retains her rationality and human appearance through a special diet. Rather than eat the brains of the living, as most zombies do, she takes a job at the medical examiner’s morgue and (gross!) eats dead peoples’ brains, thereby staying sane and human. As a bonus, she briefly takes on some of dead person’s personality and knows some of what they knew, which helps her solve murder cases. Bloom plays a “pretentious theater actor” whose death Liz helps solve, aided by her very special diet.
I’ll say more later about the now-streaming new HBO documentary about the late playwright Arthur Miller. However, since it’s Passover, I will relate one anecdote appropriately not in the film. The late Tony Randall loved to tell this story on talk shows, while admitting it was probably made up. When Marilyn Monroe, who was famously married to Miller, was first served matzah ball soup, she replied: “What do they do with the other parts of the matzah?”