Scott Marks 3:01 p.m., Dec. 12
Don’t blame the Apatow connection for this one. Director Seth Gordon (Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses) steals a few chapters from the John Hughes playbook as he tries in vain to transform Melissa McCarthy into this generation's John Candy. Playing an alcoholic sociopath in a Bozo fright wig, she uses the money she electronically pilfers from middle-class schmucks to buy strangers rounds of drinks in hope of winning a friend. One of her victims (Jason Bateman) gets wise to the con and — for some reason known only to the screenwriter — must cart “Slobbin' Hood” cross-country to help prove to his boss that he’s not a crook. The problem is, John Candy was a dandy comedian, not Chris Farley with a vagina. Per usual, the shameless third act pathos (and the obligatory sow’s ear makeover) prove funnier than any of the stuff passing for comedy that precedes it. 2013.
— Scott Marks