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BAD GIRLS Emma Watson in 'The Bling Ring.'

In Grown Ups 2 (July 11) — which should be subtitled "Not Grown Up Yet!" — crack team Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Kevin James are simultaneously thrilled and confounded by the adolescents they seek to emulate. What's up with those Situation-like abs on the younger bucks? As with the first Grown Ups installment, wives are still nags and offspring still require too much attention. But this time a moose urinates on Sandler. Who wants to grow up in a world where the bodily functions of large mammals are not the source of hilarity?

Man-children are not the only characters regressing back into petulant teens. In director Shari Springer Berman's first feature film Girl Most Likely (July 19), Kristen Wiig's Imogene has a meltdown and must be returned to the care of her narcissistic hot mess party mom played by the indomitable Annette Bening. But moving back home does not preclude romance; mom has hired out a room to a hunky tenant (Darren Criss), and Wiig must determine (in her glorious Lucille Ball-style physical comedy) if parental proximity will dampen the flame.

Perhaps in response to the trends in filmmaking that Soderbergh discussed, auteur indie directors are lightening up their summer stock. Taking a notable departure from her atmospheric and minimal dialogue films, Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring (June 14) is based on the real events of a group of LA teens who, using social media to track their marks' whereabouts, raided the homes of Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton for handbags and Louboutins. With a fun Spring Breakers bad girl aspect, Emma Watson leads the unlikely robbers in this frothy caper.

But the standout indie film of the summer may have already been released. Noah Baumbach co-wrote Frances Ha with the film's star Greta Gerwig, who previously played an ebullient foil to the caustic Ben Stiller in Baumbach's last film, Greenberg. Shot in black-and-white like Woody Allen's Manhattan and free of rom-com sentimentality, Frances Ha is a tribute to female friendship and shucking away layers of youthful narcissism. Baumbach's latest is the antidote to the other comedies' backward progress, and it'll be Gerwig's calling card for years to come. It's one of the only films this summer in which growing up doesn't seem less likely than mutant spaceships blowing up the White House.

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ARTICLES BY ELIZABETH GREENWOOD
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