"The D Train" (CCK: 7.4/10, RMM: 6.7/10; IMDB: 6.1; Rotten Tomatoes: 48%)
Premise: Not-quite likeable everyman, Daniel Landsman (Jack Black), is part of his 20 year highschool reunion planning committee. He's desperate to be in charge, to be liked, to be included and is failing miserably when he comes up with a plan to be a hero by luring "celebrity" alumni, Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) to the reunion.
CCK Review: I had already spoiled myself for the big twist of this movie ahead of time, because I cannot possibly survive not knowing, but I will not spoil you, currently gentle reader, possibly gentle viewer. You can find the details on line if you are truly determined. I think you would have more fun if you knew relatively little going into it. However, even knowing what I knew about the movie, I still found myself rather shocked by some of the turns that Daniel Landsman's character takes on his way to seeking popularity. The D Train goes off the rails, which made the movie better then what I was expecting in some ways, but nigh on impossible to believe in others. If you have a low Jack Black threshold be warned, he is at his most spongy and slimey in this role, more toad than panda bear, but that did seem necessary to explain why he is so ignored/disliked by those around him. It doesn't explain why Kathryn Hahn as his wife, Stacey Landsman, would be so actively in love/rooting for him or why his boss would have such implicit faith in him. Very brief glimpses of Dan as a better man are going to have to be sufficient proof that he has earned their love. James Marsden as the improbably named Oliver Lawless does an excellent job of being an awful but undeniably seductive character. The movie gains points from me for defying expectations even if it doesn't always defy them very believably.