Cruel Intentions

  • Directors: Roger Kumble
  • Producers: Neal H Moritz
  • Writers: Choderlos de Laclos, Roger Kumble
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Sean Patrick Thomas, Christine Baranski

Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the image of social perfection, takes the sheltered and naive Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair) under her wing, promising to turn Cecile into a model student like herself. Kathryn’s real intention, however, is to take revenge on Court Reynolds, her ex-lover, who dumped her for the “innocent little twit” Cecile. She intends to corrupt Cecile by getting her to sleep with as many men as possible, thereby destroying her reputation and teaching Court a lesson.

She asks for the help of her womanizing step-brother, Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe). Though Kathryn and Sebastian have collaborated in schemes of manipulation before, he initially refuses. He is busy planning another “conquest”, the beautiful Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon), a girl who has written a manifesto saying that she plans to keep her virginity intact until she is in love. By coincidence, she is temporarily staying at his aunt’s estate. Kathryn does not think Sebastian has a chance with Annette, so they make a wager. If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian’s vintage Jaguar, a 1956 XK140 Roadster; if Sebastian wins, she offers him a night of passion with her, as Kathryn knows she is the only girl Sebastian cannot bed.

In the final shot, Annette drives away in Sebastian’s Jaguar, putting his sunglasses on, with his journal by her side.

Mamma Mia

  • Directors: Phyllida Lloyd
  • Producers: Judy Craymer, Benny Andersson, Phyllida Lloyd, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson
  • Writers: Catherine Johnson
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski

On the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi, 20-year-old bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) nervously posts three wedding invitations (“I Have a Dream”) to three different men. In response, from across the globe, they set off on their respective journeys.

Sophie’s two bridesmaids arrive and she shares with them a secret. Sophie has found her mother’s diary and learned she has three possible dads: New York-based Irish architect Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), Swedish adventurer and writer Bill Andersson (Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd), and British banker Harry Bright (Colin Firth). She invited them without telling her mother, believing that after she spends time with them she will know who her father is (“Honey, Honey”).

Villa Donna owner Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep) is ecstatic to reunite with old friends and former Donna and The Dynamos bandmates, wisecracking author Rosie (Julie Walters) and wealthy multiple divorcee Tanya (Christine Baranski), and reveals her mystification at her daughter’s desire to get married. Donna explains her precarious finances to Rosie and Tanya (“Money, Money, Money”).

The three men arrive, and Sophie smuggles them to their quarters and explains that she, not her mother, sent the invitations. She begs the men to hide so Donna will have a surprise at the wedding: seeing the old friends of whom she “so often” favorably speaks. They overhear Donna working (humming “Fernando”) and the men swear to Sophie they won’t reveal her secret.

During the principal credits, Donna, Tanya, and Rosie reprise “Dancing Queen”, followed by “Waterloo” with the rest of the cast. Finally, Amanda Seyfried sings “Thank You for the Music” over the end credits.

Chicago

  • Directors: Rob Marshall
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Craig Zadan, Martin Richards
  • Writers: Maurine Watkins, Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb, Bill Condon
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Musical
  • Actors: Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C Reilly, Taye Diggs, Christine Baranski

The film takes place in Chicago, circa 1924. Naive Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) visits a nightclub where star Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) performs (“And All That Jazz”). Hart is having an affair with Fred Casely (Dominic West) in hopes that he will get her a gig as a vaudeville star. Velma is arrested after the show for murdering her adulterous husband and sister Veronica after finding them in bed together. After Roxie realizes that Fred will not help her break into show business, she kills him in a fit of rage and tries to make her simple-minded husband Amos (John C. Reilly) take the fall (“Funny Honey”). However, the police and Amos (realizing she has been unfaithful to him) see through her ruse and Roxie is arrested and sent to the Cook County Jail.

Once Roxie arrives and is booked, she is sent to Murderess’ Row to await trial, under the care of the corrupt Matron “Mama” Morton (Queen Latifah), who supplies her girls with cigarettes and other materials if she is paid well enough (“When You’re Good to Mama”). Roxie meets Velma in jail as the woman in charge, and learns the stories behind the other women in Murderess’ Row (“Cell Block Tango”). Roxie decides that she wants Velma’s lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) to get her off (“All I Care About”), and convinces her husband to talk to him. Billy decides to take Roxie’s case and get her off by making her a star.

With nothing left, Roxie once more sets off to find a stage career, with little success (“Nowadays”). However, she is soon approached by Velma, who is willing to revive a two-person act with Roxie. Roxie refuses at first, because of the hatred that they share for each other, but relents. The two murderesses, no longer facing jail time, finally become the enormous successes they have been longing to be (“Nowadays”/”Hot Honey Rag”).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard
  • Writers: Screenplay, Jeffrey Price, Peter S Seaman, Book, Dr Seuss
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, Bill Irwin, Clint Howard, Taylor Momsen

The Whos of Whoville love Christmas more than any other holiday, but the Grinch (Jim Carrey), a hairy, green creature living just north of Whoville, hates Christmas.

The Grinch lives with just his dog, Max (Frank Welker), in a cave on Mt. Crumpit. He is haunted by unpleasant memories associated with the Christmas season, hence his having nothing to do with it. The Grinch is a childhood sweetheart of Martha May Whovier (Christine Baranski), but the mayor of Whoville, Augustus Maywho (Jeffrey Tambor), has always been in competition with the Grinch for Martha’s affections.

As a baby, the Grinch was brought up with a love for Christmas. When he was eight years old, he made an angel ornament as a gift for Martha. He was also worried Martha would dislike his facial hair. He shaves, but ends up cutting himself in several places. At school the next day, he is ridiculed and even the teacher can’t help but laugh. This is what drives him into a deep hatred of Christmas.

Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) is a young Who who feels the true meaning of Christmas is lost, as she is overwhelmed by all of the commercial and materialistic commotion. She is fascinated with the Grinch and wants nothing more than to get him into the Christmas spirit again. She convinces the Grinch to participate in the Whos’ Christmas festivities, tempting him with the fact that Martha May will attend, but Maywho publicly humiliates the Grinch by giving him an electric razor and proposing to Martha May. Furiously haunted by the past, the Grinch becomes angry, calling the Whos’ Christmas stupid and saying the holiday is about nothing but greed. He returns to Mt. Crumpit and the Whos commence with a Grinchless Christmas.

The Whos are at first miserable over what has happened, blaming Cindy Lou, but Cindy Lou’s father (Bill Irwin) convinces them that Christmas isn’t all about gifts after all, and that they still have the Christmas Spirit – the one thing that doesn’t come from a store. They sing at the arrival of Christmas, and the Grinch hears them echoing over the mountain. He is convinced that Christmas is something that can’t be stolen, and his heart swells and he feels Christmas spirit at last. He realizes his stolen load is about to tumble off the mountain peak. At first he is unable to muster the strength to pull it back, but when he sees that Cindy Lou has climbed onto the sleigh, his worry for her safety gives him the superhuman strength to lift the sleigh clear off the ground. He and Cindy Lou then bring the presents back to Whoville. Martha May gives Mayor Maywho his engagement ring back and tells him that she won’t marry him because her heart belongs to The Grinch. The Grinch is accepted back into society and he himself carves the roast beast at Christmas dinner. Martha May stands beside him, while Cindy Lou sits nearby waiting for her portion of the roast beast.