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Film Openings 

Week of May 7, 2003

Daddy Day Care. Steve Carr. Eddie Murphy's a family-movie man now, a reformed R-rated performer playing for the G-rated crowd. Charlie Hinton, the out-of-work cereal-marketing man Murphy plays here, would be appalled at the things Murphy used to talk about his in his stand-up act. This essentially updates Mr. Mom without that film's smirky wit and depressed fog; it's all cute grins and tears of joy played out on the faces of the dozen multiculti Gap Kids wrangled for the daycare center Charlie and Phil (Jeff Garlin) open when they're thrown out of work for not being able to sell vegetable cereal to Cocoa Puff kids. Even its villain, Anjelica Huston, is more annoying and amusing than terrifying. Opens Friday, May 9, at multiple locations. (Robert Wilonsky)

Divine Intervention. Elia Suleiman. Opens Friday, May 9, at the Tivoli. Reviewed this issue.

A Mighty Wind. Christopher Guest. Opens Friday, May 9, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

The Shape of Things. Neil LaBute. LaBute is back to his old self again, and the cinematic world is a better place for it. If you've seen any of his material before, you'll have a good idea as to whether you'll love or loathe this new one. Adam (Paul Rudd) is an impotent watchman at a college art museum, and he meets Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) as she plans to desecrate a statue. Speaking in stagy repartee (which gets better as the film progresses), they recognize love, or possibly just lust, at first sight -- except that she hates his hair. He, being a nerd who seldom gets any action, naturally opts to fix his coif ASAP. But that's just the beginning: weight loss, diet change, rifts with friends and even a nose job lie ahead, achieved through a gradual process of subtle manipulation by the intensely passionate Evelyn, who convinces Adam that it's all his idea. The climax is a virtual knife in the chest, with a coda that twists the blade even further. Opens Friday, May 9, at the Plaza Frontenac. (Luke Y. Thompson)

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