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Game Night

Game Night

There are a whole lot worse things than watching talented people do their best to entertain you. And that’s exactly what Game Night is: a frantically funny, self aware caper that’s got no real agenda except to make you have a good time.

I’m always happy to see Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams show up on screen (how these two aren’t superstars is still a mystery to me) and, as a couple bonded over their competitive spirit, they bring a real chemistry to both their scripted weekly game nights with friends as well as on screen, for us. When Max’s brother (a truly game Kyle Chandler) shows up back in town, the stakes rise considerably. Fellow players Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Sharon Horgan and Billy Magnussen add to the fun, but it’s Jesse Plemons, as the sad neighborhood weirdo, who earns best supporting gamer.

Even when it wanders off, Mark Perez’s script takes time to throw in some cool stuff that makes this one of the occasionally smartest comedies to come along in a while. Keep your ears open for lines that almost sound like throwaways, but in the capable hands of the company, present themselves like little gems. And I appreciated the nod to a few real life issues that allows the rest of the free flying silliness some grounding.

Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (whose previous hits included 2011’s Horrible Bosses) have delivered a hip, happy, winner. It may not change your life: it’s not trying to. But if fun is your goal, you’re hitting the jackpot here.

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