Dan and I woke up early on Saturday morning to take one of our Smart Cars into Mercedes in Beverly Hills for routine service. I love our Smarts, but having our lease with service plan through Beverly Hills is a bit of a pain. We must take our cars to that specific dealer for everything. We had most of the day to kill while waiting for the car, so we headed over to the Westfield Century City Mall.
It was early, the mall was just opening up and we decided to go for a matinee at the AMC. My mom and I used to head to the Century City Mall about once a month for shopping and movies and it was a fairly regular hang out with friends during high school, but I had not been in years.
The entire mall has been overhauled, including the AMC Theaters. Oh my goodness, we have found our new favorite AMC. Our experience was so stellar, that Dan mentioned not minding the drive on a more regular basis. Anyone who knows me, knows that I wither away if I don't have regular access to movies in the theaters. Growing up, my mom took me to the movies every Sunday morning. It was our version of Sunday Services!
Here is what made the AMC Century City so outstanding...
Super friendly staff, above average friendly and perky considering the time of day.
Century City has a coffee bar, something that more theaters are getting and I fully support. Lattes always trump soda, as fancy scones trump popcorn. They get more of my money too, as I usually only spend at concessions that have more than the routine offerings.
This theater allows you to pick your seats, like Arclight. Not such a big deal early in the morning, but it's nice nonetheless. We got our sweet spot seats, third row, dead center.
Finally, the best part, quiet, respectful audience members. I think when you make things nicer, you attract a better crowd. I've definitely noticed this at Arclight cinemas. Zero problems with people talking or cell phones.
All of this for just a dollar more than what our local AMC, AMC Burbank, charges for matinees. The AMC Burbank is close in proximity, but they have gone way down hill. I don't think that it's too much to expect that the restrooms and theaters be clean for the first showing (and subsequent showings) of the day. It's a crap shoot at AMC Burbank.
On to the movie...we have been seeing a lot of really heavy dramas lately, so we went the polar opposite and bought tickets for Identity Thief. I went in with fairly low expectations. Good comedies are hard to do. I was actually pleasantly surprised with Identity Thief, it made me laugh, a lot. It had some great one-liners and was all-around much better than I had anticipated.
The plot is pretty much exactly what you would imagine from the trailers. There are no big surprises, save for the movie is more touching and heartwarming than expected. It has a sweet resolution, with a good overall message of showing kindness to others, even when they don't deserve it.
The reason that the movie was better than the average comedy, was the cast. I have been a fan of Melissa McCarthy since she played Sookie on Gilmore Girls. One of my favorite television shows. In Identify Thief, she is brash and outlandish, but manages to reign it in when necessary, giving instant likability and vulnerability to an otherwise highly toxic character. Jason Bateman plays the straight man. It's the part that Bateman usually plays and does so well. Bateman and McCarthy make a great duo in Identity Thief.
There are lots of great actors in minor roles. In particular, Eric Stonestreet is absolutely hilarious and nearly unrecognizable from his role on Modern Family. It was nice to see Jonathan Banks, in a role not too different from his Mike Ehrmantraut.
I could have done without the zany side plots, crazy car chase and ridiculous snake sequence. Although, I have to admit that all of the above served to propel the plot and although there may have been a better way of doing it, none of it was superfluous.
If you're looking for a fun movie, Identity Thief, is a good pick. It's not one that is going to win any awards or that needs to be seen on the big screen, but it's solid for some laughs. I thoroughly enjoyed it.