Also In Theaters

A quick look at films opening in theaters Friday, Aug. 3.

Celeste and Jesse Forever
Sony Pictures Classics
Directed by Lee Toland Krieger

In Krieger's likable, bittersweet relationship film, writer-actress Rashida Jones pens herself a role a bit like her character on Parks and Recreation: ultra-competent professionally, personally not so much. Married to best friend Jesse (Andy Samberg), she gets tired of his lack of ambition and asks for a divorce. But when Jesse's friends convince him to start seeing other people, she takes it badly, messing up even the functional parts of her life. "Jones is great in the part, making her character's clumsy heartache feel like more than a plot point," wrote THR's John DeFore from Sundance. DeFore found Samberg "highly sympathetic," playing it straighter than usual. But Emma Roberts' subplot as a sleazy pop star proved unconvincing.

The Babymakers
Millennium Entertainment
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar

Chandrasekhar, a member of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe that wrote his stoner film Super Troopers, pulls off a caper comedy about a sperm-bank heist by a guy (Paul Schneider, opposite Olivia Munn) desperate to be a dad. From SXSW, DeFore wrote, "Chandrasekhar has found the sweet spot while retaining a touch of the weirdness in Super Troopers." Although viewers might doubt he knows anything about fertility clinics, wrote DeFore, "most will be laughing too hard to care."

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Magnolia
Directed by Fernando Meirelles

An English businessman (Jude Law) in a bad marriage gets blackmailed by a German man (Moritz Bleibtreu) whose wife (Rachel Weisz) tries to break up with her young lover. In writer Peter Morgan's twisty romantic roundelay set in Vienna, Paris and London, wrote THR's Kirk Honeycutt from Toronto, "every major actor gets at least one chewy scene." But the film is "cold and cerebral."

ALSO OPENING AUG. 3

Total Recall (Sony/Columbia) Directed by Len Wiseman

 

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