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Globes comedy/musical contenders

Voters looking to crown the best laffer or tuner

27 DRESSES

Helmer: Anne Fletcher

Cast: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Global B.O.: $160.2 million

Variety review: “Frothy, funny and formulaic, ’27 Dresses’ is a pleasantly predictable romantic comedy that sees Katherine Heigl following ‘Knocked Up’ with smooth moves at the wheel of her first starring vehicle.”

Globe pedigree: Heigl has been nominated twice for her supporting role in “Grey’s Anatomy.”

BABY MAMA

Helmer: Michael McCullers

Cast: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear

Studio: Universal

Global B.O.: $63.7 million

Variety review: “Fey is a delight to watch throughout. Able to convey Kate’s intentions and feelings through the simple looks and inflections, she never melodramatizes her situation.”

Globe pedigree: Fey is the defending champ in the category of TV actress in a comedy for “30 Rock”; Kinnear was nominated for a supporting role in “As Good as It Gets.”

BURN AFTER READING

Helmers: Ethan and Joel Coen

Cast: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Brad Pitt

Studio: Focus

Global B.O.: $125 million

Variety review: “Pitt’s Chad is what passes for a riot here. … Pitt slices the ham very thick indeed, but uniquely emerges as endearing in doing so.”

Globe pedigree: The Coen brothers won screenplay for “No Country for Old Men”; Pitt won for supporting actor for “Twelve Monkeys”; Clooney won for supporting actor in “Syriana” and comedy/musical lead in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

Cadillac Records

Helmer: Darnell Martin

Cast: Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyonce Knowles

Studio: Sony

Release Date: Dec. 5

Globe pedigree: Wright won for supporting actor in “Angels in America”; Brody won lead actor for “The Pianist”; Knowles was nominated for song and supporting actress for “Dreamgirls.”

DEFINITELY, MAYBE

Helmer: Adam Brooks

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz

Studio: Universal

Global B.O.: $54.9 million

Variety review: “A pleasingly nonformulaic romantic seriocomedy.”

Globe pedigree: Weisz won supporting actress for “The Constant Gardener.”

Forgetting Sarah

Marshall

Helmer: Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Jason Siegel, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell

Studio: Universal

Global B.O.: $103.5 million

Variety review: “There’s lots of funny stuff — withering put-downs, nifty non sequiturs, seriocomic ravings, wisecracks that range from snappy to snappish.”

Globe pedigree: None

GET SMART

Helmer: Peter Segal

Cast: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin

Studio: Warner Bros.

Global B.O.: $230.5 million

Variety review: “In changing the tone of the original NBC sitcom, Segal’s ‘Get Smart’ creates a more endearing Max.”

Globe pedigree: Carell won for “The Office,” in 2006; Arkin won for lead actor in a comedy/musical in ” The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.”

GHOST TOWN

Helmer: David Koepp

Cast: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni

Studio: Paramount/DreamWorks

Global B.O.: Nearing $10.5 million

Variety review: “Smartly supernatural, and featuring sensational performances by Ricky Gervais and Tea Leoni.”

Globe pedigree: Gervais won for his performance in the British version of “The Office,” which was also tabbed as best comedy series in 2004.

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY

Helmer: Mike Leigh

Cast: Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsden

Studio: Miramax

Global B.O.: $14.1 million

Variety review: “Nearly four years after his dark period drama ‘Vera Drake,’ iconic Brit helmer Mike Leigh is back with ‘Happy-Go-Lucky,’ his mellowest work yet, and his most purely entertaining.”

Globe pedigree: None

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR

Helmer: Kenny Ortega

Cast: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Olesya Rulin

Studio: Disney

Global B.O.: $207.6 million

Variety review: “Starting small, Ortega has taught an entirely new generation to love musical theater.”

Globe pedigree: None

THE HOUSE BUNNY

Helmer: Fred Wolf

Cast: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis,

Beverly D’Angelo

Studio: Sony

Global B.O.: $68.2 million

Variety review: “It’s a little stroke of genius: Make a female-empowerment movie and cast it with Playboy bunnies.”

Globe pedigree: D’Angelo was nominated for “Coal Miner’s Daughter”; Willis was named Miss Golden Globe in 2008.

LAST CHANCE HARVEY

Helmer: Joel Hopkins

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin, Eileen Atkins

Studio: Overture

Release Date: Dec. 25

Variety review: “Hoffman makes the most of everything he’s given in Hopkins’ script, mining laughs from even the least obvious places.”

Globe pedigree: Hoffman has five wins (“The Graduate,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Tootsie,” “Death of a Salesman,” “Rain Man”) and was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1997; Thompson has two wins for “Howards End” and “Sense and Sensibility”; Baker won for “Picket Fences”; Brolin has two wins for “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

LEATHERHEADS

Helmer: George Clooney

Cast: George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce

Studio: Universal

Global B.O.: $40.6 million

Variety review: “Physically, ‘Leatherhead’ is entirely inviting.”

Globe pedigree: Clooney won for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Syriana”; Zellweger has won three times, for “Nurse Betty” (2000), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003).

MAMMA MIA!

Helmer: Phyllida Lloyd

Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Amanda Seyfried

Studio: Universal

Global B.O.: $562 million

Variety review: “‘Take a Chance on Me’ may be one of its most celebrated songs, but little risk is actually involved in ‘Mamma Mia!'”

Globe pedigree: Meryl Streep has won six Globes (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “Adaptation,” “Angels in America” and “The Devil Wears Prada”); Brosnan has been nominated for “The Matador” and TV miniseries “Mary Astor.”

Marley and Me

Helmer: David Frankel

Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Alan Arkin, Eric Dane

Studio: Fox

Variety review: N/A

Globe pedigree: Aniston won for “Friends.”

NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST

Helmer: Peter Sollett

Cast: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings

Studio: Sony

Global B.O.: $31.2 million

Variety review: “This is the kind of sparsely plotted comedy that depends on compelling characters, but it stars two young actors defined by ironic detachment.”

Globe pedigree: None

Pineapple Express

Helmer: David Gordon Green

Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Gary Cole

Studio: Sony

Global B.O.: $99.8 million

Variety review: “Green displays a thoroughly commercial sensibility that nonetheless benefits from his knack for tonal experimentation and strong visual sense.”

Globe pedigree: Franco won for his starring turn in miniseries “James Dean.”

THE ROCKER

Helmer: Peter Cattaneo

Cast: Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Teddy Geiger, Emma Stone

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Global B.O.: $8.5 million

Variety review: “It’s the kind of role ready-made for Jack Black (had ‘School of Rock’ not happened), and Wilson makes the most of it in this well-crafted, feel-good satire.”

Globe pedigree: Applegate has two nominations, for “Jesse” and “Samantha Who?”

SEX AND THE CITY

Helmer: Michael Patrick King

Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Hudson

Studio: New Line

Global B.O.: $409 million

Variety review: “Although there’s pleasure in seeing HBO’s fabulous four reunited, writer-director Michael Patrick King doesn’t fully bridge the gap between TV and film.”

Globe pedigree: Parker won four Globes for the TV series, and Cattrall took home one as well; Nixon was nominated four times, and Davis received one nomination; Hudson won for her supporting role in “Dreamgirls.”

STEP BROTHERS

Helmer: Adam McKay

Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen

Studio: Sony

Global B.O.: More than $127 million

Variety review: “Pic boasts an unpredictable element, in that you never know what the two brothers are going to say.”

Globe pedigree: Steenburgen won for her supporting role in “Melvin and Howard”; Reilly has been nominated three times (“Chicago,” actor and song for “Walk Hard”); Ferrell has been nommed twice (“The Producers,” “Stranger Than Fiction”).

TROPIC THUNDER

Helmer: Ben Stiller

Cast: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte

Studio: Paramount/DreamWorks

Global B.O.: $183.2 million

Variety review: “Downey’s performance reps the best reason to see the film.”

Globe pedigree: Downey won for “Ally McBeal” and “Short Cuts” (Special Award) and was nominated for “Chaplin”; Nolte won for “The Prince of Tides” and was nominated for “Rich Man, Poor Man,” “Weeds” and “Affliction”; Black was nominated for “School of Rock.”

W.

Helmer: Oliver Stone

Cast: Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, Richard Dreyfuss, Elizabeth Banks, Thandie Newton, Toby Jones, Ellen Burstyn, Jeffrey Wright

Studio: Lionsgate

Global B.O.: $27.9 million

Variety review: “Offers a clear and plausible take on the current chief executive’s psychological makeup and, considering Stone’s reputation and Bush’s vast unpopularity, a relatively evenhanded, restrained treatment of recent politics.”

Globe pedigree: Stone has won five Globes, for “Midnight Express” (as writer), “Platoon” (as director), “Born on the Fourth of July” (as writer and director) and “JFK” (as director) plus three other Globe noms; Dreyfuss won for “The Goodbye Girl” and was nominated for “American Graffiti,” “Nuts” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus”; Wright won for “Angels in America.”

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS

Helmer: Tom Vaughan

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Corddry, Treat Williams

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Global B.O.: $219.2 million

Variety review: “The result is an undemandingly diverting and exceptionally commercial pic that should click with its target 25-and-under demo.”

Globe pedigree: Diaz has been nominated four times, for “There’s Something About Mary,” “Being John Malkovich,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Gangs of New York”; Williams was nominated for three films: “Hair,” “Prince of the City” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

YES MAN

Helmer: Peyton Reed

Cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Terence Stamp

Studio: Warner Bros.

Release Date: Dec. 19

Globe pedigree: Carrey has two wins, for “The Truman Show” and “Man on the Moon,” and was nominated for “The Mask,” “Liar Liar,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”; Stamp won most promising newcomer for “Billy Budd” and was nominated for “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

ZACH AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO

Helmer: Kevin Smith

Cast: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson, Justin Long, Brandon Routh

Studio: MGM/Weinstein

Global B.O.: $29 million

Variety review: “The bluntly titled ‘Zach and Miri Make a Porno’ is a cheerfully vulgar love story or a sweethearted sex farce.”

Globe pedigree: None

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