New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
New rule of cinema: when a character pilots a vehicle down a deserted, dead-silent street for what seems like an inordinate amount of time, chances are a truck is about to come along and simultaneously shatter the complacency and a few bones. Such is the fate of Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin, who drew the pivotal Kevin Costner role in this French re-working of Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 ensemble comedy-drama, The Big Chill. (The wall-to-wall oldies soundtrack should be a big seller.) With Dujardin on the mend in a Paris intensive care unit, a group of his close friends decide their annual summer getaway to France’s west coast is still in order. François Cluzet provides a few sly, subtle moments as a temperamental (and homophobic) restaurateur suddenly confronted with the prospect of lifelong friend (Benoît Magimel) coming on to him. But for the most part, the bit is played for cheap laughs. Writer-director Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) stuffs the film’s unwieldy two-and-a-half hour running time with enough guilt, jumbled relationships, and picture postcard views to last a lifetime. With Marion Cotillard and Gilles Lellouche. 2012.