Winter movie guide: Comedies

‘This is 40’

All that holiday family time will leave most of us in need of a few good laughs.

‘Playing for Keeps’
Dec. 7 — Gerard Butler seems to be the male Katherine Heigl of romantic comedies. Does it matter that “The Bounty Hunter” was terrible? Not to Butler fans. Here he stars as an ex-soccer player who attempts to put his life back together with the help of an old flame.

‘Save the Date’
Dec. 14 (limited) — Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie star as two sisters who take diverging paths when it comes to love and marriage.

‘The Guilt Trip’
Dec. 19 – This road trip movie starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand aims to plumb the treasure trove of jokes to be made about a mother and son making a road trip across the country.

‘This is 40’

Dec. 21 — As the “sort of sequel” to 2007’s “Knocked
Up,” this Judd Apatow film follows committed couple Debbie and Pete
(Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd) as they struggle with aging and each other.

‘Quartet’
Jan. 11 (limited) — Dustin Hoffman directs this comedy about a British retirement home for opera singers and the longtime resident who reunites with a lost love. Pretty much, it’s “Best Exotic Marigold Quartet.”

‘A Haunted House’
Jan. 11 — Marlon Wayans, Cedric the Entertainer and Nick Swardson finally give “Paranormal Activity” and all those exorcist movies the send-up they deserve.

‘Movie 43′
Jan. 25 — Like those monster ensemble rom-coms like “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve,” this comedy packs in a load of stars but promises to be a least a little bit more enjoyable than the aforementioned cheesefests.

‘John Dies at the End’

Jan. 25 — A new street drug has the ability not only to transport the user through time and space, but to also change them into new life forms in this horror-comedy.



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