Movie Date: Films to See & Avoid This Weekend

Email a Friend
A still from the film "Cake" with Jennifer Aniston.
From and

Magical potions, dangerous stalkers, and chronic pain take center stage in this weekend's Movie Date Podcast.

Our Movie Date Podcast co-hosts—Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for The Takeaway—are here to review "Strange Magic," "The Boy Next Door," and "Cake." 

1. Strange Magic

Our critics say that George Lucas’s madcap musical fairy tale inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is one to miss. Both Rafer and Kristen agree that there’s nothing redeemable about this smurfs-meet-Shakespeare story from the creator of Jar Jar Binks.

“It’s horrible,” Kristen says. “This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.”

While it may be an acceptable diversion for bored toddlers, this movie is a parent killer.

“It’s so hard to watch,” Kristen says. “The characters are charmless, the music mashups are just so misguided, and I just felt like it belonged on a straight to video [release].”

2. The Boy Next Door

This thriller stars Jennifer Lopez as a single mom who, after a steamy night with a young neighbor, finds herself the target of his dangerous obsession.

“It’s just like ‘Fatal Attraction’ turned on its head,” Kristen says. “ I have to say, I did not expect it, but I loved this movie.”

Rafer agrees, and says the film might point to some larger trends.

“It’s fun, a little trashy, very soap opera-ish,” Rafer says. “Very, very steamy and very surprising. I think we might already be seeing the ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ effect here.”

3. Cake

In “Cake,” Jennifer Aniston plays a woman struggling with chronic pain that’s also grappling with the suicide of one of the members of her support group.

“I thought it was amazing,” Kristen says. “I’m shocked Jennifer Aniston didn’t get an Oscar nod for this. I don’t expect much of her, but she was wonderful in this.”

Final verdict: Give it a shot.

Subscribe to The Movie Date Podcast here. Each podcast includes extended movie reviews, trivia, listener mail, celebrity interviews, and lots of banter.