Alan Dee’s guide to new movie releases: Wanderlust, Hunky Dory, Project X

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HANG on a minute, we haven’t seen a film starring Jennifer Aniston for at least half an hour, what’s going on?

Calm down, dears, Jen is still plugging away and tapping into the comedy vibe that proved such a hit in Horrible Bosses.

So now we have Wanderlust, again an ensemble piece in which she shares billing with the likes of Paul Rudd and the venerable Alan Alda in a tale about an over-extended couple who start a new life in a hippy commune when hubby gets made redundant.

The director is David ‘Role Models’ Wain and Judd Apatow produces, which probably tells you all you need to know – broad comedy, no great messages, but everyone ends with a hug.

> It seems as if Welsh is the flavour of the month, what with Gavin & Stacey still selling box sets by the shedload and everyone loving Ruth Jones’ next big telly project Stella.

That’s the cue for Minnie Driver to brush up her girl from the valleys accent in Hunky Dory, a feelgood period piece about a teacher at a 1970s secondary school struggling to stage a musical Shakespeare production against the odds.

In the long hot summer of 1976 Minnie’s idealistic teacher finds that nobody else much cares about her pet project, a rock version of The Tempest.

The staff and parents don’t give her much support and the kids are more interesting in bunking off and enjoying the heatwave.

The drama unfolds with tensions, crushes, and lots of ‘I remember them’ moments for people of a certain age with period props and a golden oldies soundtrack, including the man behind the title track, David Bowie, and lots of other evergreen names like Nick Drake and the Electric Light Orchestra. performed by the youthful cast.

It’s in Son of Rambow and Cemetery Junction territory and that’s not a bad thing – a sweet little dose of nostalgia to help you forget how grim things are at the moment, if only for a little while.

> Much more in your face is Project X, in which a teenager struggling to make a mark decides to get himself noticed with the greatest birthday party ever. What on earth could go wrong?

New faces Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown are the kids making the arrangements and foolishly thinking they can keep everything under control.

The house is invaded by a huge mob and soon enough there’s a car in the pool, a dwarf in the oven and a dog on the trampoline. The neighbours, needless to say, are not happy.

First time director Nima Nourizadeh’s gets support from The Hangover’s Todd Phillips as producer, which gives you a good idea of where this one is going.

> Also out this week is This Means War, a comedy romance about two spies fighting over the same girl. But it was supposed to be out a couple of weeks back and got shunted back, so despite Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy in lead roles approach with caution. The director is McG, which is another warning sign should you need it.