Red Riding Hood

  • Directors: Randal Kleiser
  • Producers: Steve Austin, Jonathan Bogner, David Borg, Nzinga Garvey, Lou Pearlman, Greg McDonald, Stuart E Rawitt, Jack Serino
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Musical
  • Actors: Morgan Thompson, Henry Cavill, Debi Mazar, Joey Fatone, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Bowen, Steve Fogel, Ashley Rose Orr, Bob Glouberman, Suzanne Kent, David Kaufman, Cassandra Peterson, Sam Stone, Callie Waterman, Daniel Roebuck

The film stars Australian native and acting newcomer Morgan Thompson as “Red”. Her life is preserved by “The Hunter”, played by Henry Cavill. With cap, cloak, a musket, and noble white steed, “The Hunter” and Baron of this enchanted forest rescues “Red” from the clutches of felonius “Wolf” misdeeds.

Gigli

  • Directors: Martin Brest
  • Producers: Martin Brest, Casey Silver
  • Writers: Martin Brest
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Romance
  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Lainie Kazan

Larry Gigli (Affleck) is a low-ranking mobster who is commanded to kidnap the mentally challenged, Baywatch-obsessed younger brother (Justin Bartha) of a powerful federal prosecutor to save his mobster boss from prison. Gigli successfully convinces the young man, Brian, to go off with him by promising to take him “to the Baywatch.” However, Gigli’s boss, Louis (Lenny Venito), does not trust him; he hires a woman calling herself Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) to take over the job.

Although Gigli is attracted to Ricki, he resents the fact that Louis does not have faith in him and that he has to take orders from Ricki. He is also frustrated by Brian’s insistence on going to “the Baywatch” and by Ricki’s lesbianism. The events take a darker turn when Larry and Ricki receive orders to cut off Brian’s thumb, something neither of them wants to do.

Ricki’s girlfriend shows up at Gigli’s apartment, accusing her of cheating. She slits a wrist and has to be rushed to the hospital. While at the hospital, Gigli goes to the morgue and cuts off a corpse’s thumb, which he sends to his boss as Brian’s thumb. Gigli and Ricki go back to his apartment and Gigli confesses his love, leading to a sexual encounter between them.

Afterwards, they are called to meet with the mob’s boss. Starkman (Al Pacino) reveals that he didn’t approve of the plan to kidnap a federal prosecutor’s brother and scolds them because the thumb they sent won’t match Brian’s fingerprint. He shoots Gigli’s superior Louis dead. Starkman is about to kill Ricki and Gigli as well, but Ricki talks him out of it. They decide to take Brian back to where they found him. On the way, they discover Baywatch shooting an episode on the beach and leave a happy Brian there.

You Don t Mess with the Zohan

  • Directors: Dennis Dugan
  • Producers: Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo
  • Writers: Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Judd Apatow
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, Rob Schneider

Zohan Dvir, an Israeli Special Forces soldier, leaves his vacation at Tel Aviv beach, agreeing to complete yet another mission of recapturing a key Palestinian terrorist, the “Phantom”, who had been freed by the Israeli government in a prisoner exchange. Later, as Zohan expresses his desire to leave Israel and become a hairdresser in New York City, his wishes are met with derision by his mother and father.

The disgruntled Zohan fakes his own death during the pursuit of the Phantom, who is tricked into believing he had killed Zohan. Zohan smuggles himself into a flight to New York City in a pet crate. Changing his hairstyle into a 1987 Paul Mitchell’s Avalon style, shaving his beard into a goatee and taking “Scrappy Coco” (Scrappy and Coco being the names of two dogs he befriended during the flight) as a new alias, he sets out to pursue his dreams in New York City.

Initially unsuccessful in getting hired at several salons, Zohan’s military expertise earns him a new friend, Michael, who gives him a place to stay. Zohan’s passion for disco (Discoth√ɬ®ques) runs him into a fellow Israeli named Oori, a Zohan fan who is aware of Scrappy Coco’s true identity but agrees to keep it a secret. Oori introduces him to a block in lower Manhattan filled with Middle Eastern Americans, who are split between a Palestinian side and an Israeli side of the street.

Zohan arrives and calms the Israelis and Palestinians, who each blame the other for the violence and fires. The Phantom then appears and confronts Zohan, but he refuses to fight and eventually convinces the Phantom to cooperate with him against the arsonists. As Zohan and Phantom work to save the block, Dalia appears, revealing that she is the Phantom’s sister. Zohan’s personal dossier technology allows him to discover the arsonists’ true identities as white racist rednecks hired by Walbridge to instigate an inter-ethnic riot between the Israelis and Palestinians and hopefully allow him to take over their stores more easily. Zohan and Phantom lead the united Israelis and Palestinians of the block to save their shops, defeating the rednecks, thwarting Walbridge’s plans, but damaging all of the shops on the block including Dalia’s salon. With the Israelis and the Palestinians united, the block is transformed into a collectively-owned mall called the Peace and Brotherhood Fire Insurance Mall, in which Phantom opens a shoe store and Zohan and Dalia open a joint beauty parlor.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

  • Directors: Joel Zwick
  • Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson
  • Writers: Nia Vardalos
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Ian Gomez

The movie is centered on Fotoula “Toula” Portokalos, a Greek-American woman (Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the script), who falls in love with a WASP, Ian Miller (played by John Corbett). The movie also examines the protagonist’s relationship with her family, with their cultural heritage and value system, which is sometimes rocky but ends with mutual appreciation.

Toula is going through an early midlife crisis. At thirty, she is the only woman in her family who has “failed” in Greek terms (her family expects her to marry a Greek, have Greek babies and feed everyone). Because of her failure as a Greek woman, Toula is stuck running the family business, a restaurant, “Dancing Zorba’s”. In contrast to her “perfect” sister, Athena (Stavroula Logothettis), Toula is a frumpy, cynical character who can barely articulate her desires and merely wishes for happiness. Now thirty, she fears she’s doomed to be stuck with her life as it is.

At the restaurant, she encounters Ian Miller (John Corbett), a school teacher. His presence reminds her of the nearby city college, which she’s considered for some time, secretly looking at their catalogs. With mom Maria’s (Lainie Kazan) help, she talks her father “Gus” (Michael Constantine) into letting her sign up for computer classes, which she says she can use to help improve the business. Now caring more about her appearance, she abandons her unflattering eyeglasses for contact lenses and begins to wear makeup and attractive dresses. A bulletin at the school announces a seminar for computer systems related to travel agencies. Toula’s Aunt Voula runs such an agency, and Toula decides to change jobs to work for her aunt. With her aunt and mother, she engages in an intricate scheme to convince her father that it was “his” idea to allow her to work for the travel agency so he will allow Toula to leave the restaurant business.

According to Greek tradition, Gus and Maria have bought a gift for the young couple: a house (right next door to them). The film’s epilogue shows the Millers’ life a few years later; they have a daughter named Paris, who would rather attend Girl Scouts than Greek school, but Toula promises the child that she can marry anyone she chooses.