Tahlequah Daily Press

Get the scoop!

June 7, 2013

Predicting the summer movie sleeper hit

(Continued)

Element 2: Mix a dash of drama with a lot of levity

              

Recent example: "(500) Days of Summer" (2009), which could have been a tragedy about heartbreak if it weren't for a song-and-dance number and other amusing interludes.

               

              

Maybe it's the long hours of daylight or impending vacations, but summer months somehow become linked with our optimistic pursuit of happiness. The movie releases generally follow suit. A dark drama with political overtones can wait until later in the year, when Oscar chatter starts heating up. Summer sleeper hits carefully balance solemnity with laughter.

              

There is drama in Chris Galletta's script for "The Kings of Summer," especially when it comes to the combative interactions between Robinson's character and his single father, played by Offerman.

              

"I haven't had the chance to play a lot of emotional roles where I get to have a relationship evolve over an arc over the course of a film," Offerman said.

              

Audiences may recognize the universal difficulties of navigating that agonizing period known as adolescence. And yet for all the film's calamities, including unrequited love and broken friendships, there's a sense of grand possibility.

              

"I can remember that feeling of unlimited potential and that excitement of: What is the world going to bring to me? And what am I going to bring to the world?" Mullally said.

              

While pre-adulthood can prove painful, it's also ripe for jokes, especially the parent-child interactions. Basso's character ends up with hives because of constant nagging from his mother, played by Mullally.

              

"Why do I need to micromanage what shirt he's wearing?" she said. "And yet it's so true."

              

Adds Basso: "Rarely do I laugh reading a comedy script, but this one was unique."

              

Another 2013 sleeper: Actress Lake Bell makes her writing and directing debut with "In a World . . .," a film that also mines familial relations for laughs. Bell plays a voice coach who can never live up to her father, the king of movie trailer voiceovers. (Opens Aug. 9)

              

Element 3: Fill the cast with scene-stealers

              

Recent example: "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006), in which each of the character actors (including Collette, Carell, Paul Dano, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin) contributed memorable scenes of humor and pathos.

              

Summer sleeper hits might be devoid of the highest-paid stars, but they are often elevated by an ensemble of actors that seem optimally cast.

              

"Kings" draws from a pool of television stars and character actors, including the hilarious real-life husband-and-wife team of Offerman, whose character Ron Swanson from "Parks and Recreation" has his own cult following, and Mullally.

              

"Community" star Alison Brie and Basso, from "The Big C," play larger roles, and there is also a long list of indelible cameos. Mary Lynn Rajskub ("24") plays a bumbling police officer trying (but not too hard) to find the boys and Kumail Nanjiani ("Franklin & Bash") plays a Chinese food deliveryman whose "American name is Gary."

              

"I think [the cameos] kind of send the movie into a different stratosphere," Mullally said. "You have that level of comedy combined so seamlessly with the sort of lyrical quality of other parts of the movie."

              

Adds Offerman: "Every single person we had to work with was the funniest person I'd ever met, and that was such a smart move on [Vogt-Roberts'] part." 

              

Another 2013 potential sleeper: "The Spectacular Now" stars up-and-comers Miles Teller, who was a stand-out in the otherwise forgettable "21 & Over," and Shailene Woodley (who wowed in "The Descendants") as two high school seniors that run with different crowds and strike up an unlikely friendship. The pair won an acting award when the film premiered at Sundance. (Opens Aug. 9)

              

Element 4: Pinpoint the next big thing

Text Only
Get the scoop!
  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 26, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 26, 2014

  • Lynette Rae Sampson.jpg Say what?: Woman arrested after calling EPD to complain her meth was ‘laced’

    A 54-year-old Enid woman is facing felony drug charges after allegedly calling police earlier in the week and telling them she thought her methamphetamine was laced with something. Woman to officer: "I'm glad you came."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • photo of oil tanks and fiberglass salt water tank.jpg Officials investigate oil-covered barn owls, dead birds

    “These birds got into a saltwater tank that was full. Most of it’s saltwater, but there’s the scum of oil on top of it. That’s the reason why the (Oklahoma) Corporation Commission and federal rules say that those tanks have to be covered." — Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Major County Game Warden Lt. Frank Huebert

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 25, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks