For reasons unknown, no doubt related to The Hangover's $475-million (U.S.) gross in 2009, bad behaviour comedies are in vogue this summer. Enjoy, but keep it vicarious.
The Hangover Part II (May 26): Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis return in this follow-up to the highest grossing adult comedy of all time, heading to Thailand for another epic drunk. Could Hangover III just go straight to rehab?
Bad Teacher (June 24): Cameron Diaz stars as a foul-mouthed, manipulative seventh-grade teacher who sets out to bed a new substitute (Jason Timberlake), proving again how art imitates life.
Horrible Bosses (July 8): Three buddies (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) decide to kill their bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston). A feel-good comedy for our time.
The Change-Up (Aug. 5): From the team who wrote The Hangover comes this comedy, starring Jason Bateman as a married guy who trades bodies with his playboy buddy Ryan Reynolds. It's like adultery, but with a magic explanation.
Our Idiot Brother (Aug. 26): Dopey Paul Rudd gets busted, loses his job and sleeps on the couches of his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer). It's like King Lear, but as comedy.
Though few and endangered, they may occasionally survive in warm weather conditions.
The Tree of Life (June 10): Terrence Malick's latest stars Sean Penn as a man who struggles between the influences of his parents - his generous mother (Jessica Chastain) and tough father (Brad Pitt). It's either a masterpiece, or this year's version of Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain.
Larry Crowne (July 1): Tom Hanks both directs and stars as a laid-off man who connects with his grumpy junior college professor (Julia Roberts), a celebration of the romantic side of the economic slump.
Super 8 (June 10): J.J. Abrams ( Star Trek) made this movie about late-seventies teens with super-8 cameras who encounter a space monster. At least partly autobiographical.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Aug. 5): In this animal rights-themed prequel to Planet of the Apes, James Franco plays the scientist who creates the first superchimp, Caesar, embodied by Andy Serkis, who also did King Kong, confirming his status as the leading ape actor of our time.
The Help (Aug. 12): An adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel about African-American maids and their white bosses in sixties Jackson, Miss., where civil rights meets home cookin'. With Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek and Emma Stone.
Three essential ingredients of kids' summer movies: A confined space, air-conditioning and snacks. Consider the rest a welcome bonus.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (May 26): Jack Black returns as the martial-arts panda bear, confronting an evil peacock, played by Gary Oldman, who gets all the flashy villain parts.
Cars 2 (June 24): The sequel goes international with tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) visiting Tokyo, London and Italy, watching Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) on the Grand Prix circuit. Let's hope it's at least as inventive as its title.
Mr. Popper's Penguins (June 17): Jim Carrey stars as a real estate developer who becomes the custodian of six penguins. They can't fly, but can they be litter trained?
The Smurfs (July 29): A half-dozen Smurfs get sent in a magic portal to live with a New York couple (Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays). Time to lock up the Windex.
Winnie the Pooh (July 15): Disney plays it straight in bringing back Pooh, raising the age-old question: Is it really all that funny that a bear likes honey?
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (Aug 19): Eight years after the last Spy Kids, writer-director Robert Rodriguez films Jessica Alba as a former Spy Kid brought back to fight the Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven). I wonder how many kids Alba beat out for the role.Report Typo/Error