The vast majority of what Hollywood puts out IS garbage. Look at the highest grossing movies from last year: Transformers 2, Harry Potter, Twilight, Alvin and the Chipmunks 2, Avatar, etc. This is the crap that America wants...movies based on cartoons and children's books. The masses don't crave fine cinema. The majority of them want fast action sequences, fart jokes, and lusty vampire love triangles. I wish this wasn't the case, but it's evidenced every year by the box office returns.
I'm not a movie snob by any means. I genuinely enjoyed some of the big blockbusters from last year (e.g. The Hangover, Taken, Sherlock Holmes). But overall, it's garbage in and garbage out. Movie Studios would put out original movies with interesting scripts if audiences demanded it, but they don't. People are perfectly content with Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Sex and the City 2.
Nothing in Common is at best a guilty pleasure. But you can't pretend that there is anything original, interesting, thought-provoking, or unique about the movie. It's just blah.
It's sort of like enjoying a meal at McDonald's. Maybe with all the sodium and food additives the food tastes good. But everyone knows they're eating garbage that's unhealthy, completely unnatural, and bad for them. No one defends the quality of McDonald's food, but they enjoy eating it. I guess for some people a movie like "Nothing in Common" is like that. Everyone knows it's an empty shell of a movie devoid of anything substantive. Yet they watch it anyway because it makes them feel good. I guess there's value in that. I just have higher standards.
"America" wants to be entertained. The audience is not dictating what these morons put out. Plenty of "big movies" Hollywood puts out fail completely. The ones that succeed tend to die out after opening weekend. In fact, many films are being targeted to a worldwide audience which is alienating some Americans.
"Taken" was great. Hollywood could put out many movies like that but they would rather put out crap like "Green Zone" and have it fail because it fits their political views. It took a Frenchman to get "Taken" on the big screen with an Irish lead actor. Matt Damon et. al. wouldn't be caught dead making a movie with radical Muslims as the bad guys. I thought "The Hangover" was boring and stupid so to each his own.
I don't pretend "Nothing in Common" was anything but what it was. I found it sufficiently funny and interesting and the characters were good. I especially related to the relationship he had with his old friend who he ends up with in the end. The scene where he sees her on the street riding her bike was very touching. So much is communicated among the 4 characters with facial expressions only.
If you have "higher standards" then you won't be liking most of the new stuff Hollywood is putting out. I have given up on them for the most part, so I seek out indie movies on Netflix. There are some good ones from people you never heard of. Until Mamet or Whit Stilman puts out another movie I won't be going to the theater much.
"America" wants to be entertained. The audience is not dictating what these morons put out.
That's where you're wrong. The studios have one goal: Make lots of money. They don't care what the product is on the screen. They just want people to pay money to see it at the theater. If that means an R rated gross out comedy, fine. If that means an animated movie about a flying squirrel, fine. If that means a 60-year old Rambo mowing down terrorists with an AK-47, fine.
Do you really think Hollywood executives care about the quality or artistic value of a film? They care about the weekend box office gross. So when you say "the audience is not dictating what these morons put out," you're completely wrong. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS WAS MADE INTO A SEQUEL FOR CHRISSAKES!!! It only happened because the first one made so much money. The "Squeakquel was panned by critics everywhere and has a rating of 3.7 on imdb. Yet it grossed $220,000,000 at the box office. "Crazy Heart" with Jeff Bridges (released the same year) grossed only $39 million at the box office, despite getting several Oscar nods, great reviews, a killer soundtrack, and a 7.4 rating on imdb. So let's place some money on what we see first: Crazy Heart 2 or The Alvin and the Chipmunks trilogy.
So you really believe that all of America is clamoring for remakes like "A-Team" and endless sequels to crummy movies? I don't think so. They go because there is nothing else to see. I personally didn't know anyone who wanted to see another Rambo film or the last Rocky picture. Some people went, but not many.
I never said Hollywood executives care about quality film-making, in fact I said the opposite. Where was the public outcry for an Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel? THERE WASN'T. People took their kids because that was one of the few "kid movies" out at the time. Nobody would have cried if it was never made.
Comparing that to "Crazy Heart" is apples and oranges. Totally different audience. Crazy Heart made money and others like it will be made. Like I said, there are plenty of indie movies out there to see, you can ignore the tent pole films if you don't like them.
They go because there is nothing else to see? That's ridiculous. If there's nothing in the theater I want to see, I find something else to do. Something cheaper. I don't think most families that paid $50 to see Alvin and the Chipmunks did so because there was nothing else to see. In this country, there are literally hundreds of options including but not limited to multiple theaters playing all kinds of movies, video stores, red boxes, netflix, movies on demand, movie channels, cable, etc. (Of course there are things to do besides watch movies.) People watch these crappy movies because they want to see them. If they didn't want to see them, they wouldn't go. Seems pretty basic to me.
Every theater is showing the same movies. People like to go out for dinner and a movie and the kiddies like it too. So they go and see whatever is playing. They aren't writing into the studios begging them to release an Alvin and the Chipmunks flick, they don't give a *beep* Do you hear people on the street talking about how they can't wait to see the next Shrek or Toy Story sequel? No you don't. These movies have developed a brand name so people check them out figuring it will be something to pacify their kids for a couple of hours. If another Shrek movie never came out, nobody would care.
Taste in film is so subjective, of course...but I must say I completely disagree with the O.P. I actually think this is my favorite Tom Hanks movie. He made me laugh and he made me cry. It was a perfect transition, in my opinion, from the Bosom Buddies Tom to the "serrrious actorrr" Tom. This and Big are my favorite Hank films. He's so natural, unaffected, and yet charismatic. I pretty much avoid his today films because I just don't see that Tom in them anymore. But...he's older, so I guess that's understandable. I just think he was absolutely adorable at this time of his career and this movie showcase that adorableness perfectly. Again, JMHO