2005_06_artsDriveIn.jpgIFP’s Drive-In Movies Series at Rockefeller Center returns to showcase some of the best new films before their theatrical release. Each night this week at 9:00 PM, you can catch the free movies on the 40-foot screen above the ice rink (between 49th and 50th Streets, off 5th Avenue). Remember when your friends went to see Garden State at Rockefeller last year? They kept yapping about Zach Braff and the trailer’s Frou Frou song was stuck in your head, yet you had to suffer in curiosity for another month till the movie came out? Yeah, you can avoid that this year.

Tonight kicks off with Rize - Celebrity photographer-turned-director David LaChapelle (of Christina Aguilera “Dirrrty” video fame) chronicles a groundbreaking dance movement by profiling a South Los Angeles neighborhood and interviewing various dancers, pioneers of new dance styles (known as “clowning” and “krumping”), and kids practicing it on the streets. Seating starts at 6:00 PM and we strongly suggest arriving early because the Drive-In fills up quick. So far, the weather looks promising (a bit shaky come Friday) but you can check Gothamist weather for more updates.

Wednesday, June 15th:The Baxter (Writer/Director Michael Showalter and other members of THE STATE and Wet Hot American Summer will do an impromptu performance at 7:00, before the film. We've seen them perform before and they're hysterical, so we recommend checking it out)

Hollywood always seems to have characters dumped for suave, charming one-liner spewing protagonists right before the “I do." You know the type: polite, sweet, lactose-intolerant accountants allergic to cheesecake and magic markers, who somehow manage to be deserted for handsome John Cusack-wannabes sweeping in at the last moment. They’re the good guys, the “baxters” - the reliable, honest guy "you’re content with, the one you settle for because you can’t have the one you’re madly in love with.” But what happens to these poor bastards “left at the altar?” Michael Showalter’s directorial debut answers that lofty, Carrie Bradshaw-esque question by following old-fashioned, play-it-safe Eliot (Michael Showalter), who works as an accountant in NYC, where he's happy fidgeting with paper clips and being awkward. Then, one rainy day, he is on the cusp of asking out his new secretary temp, the friendly and rambling Cecile (Michelle Williams), when in walks a beautiful, classy, nauseatingly “perfect” Editor named Caroline (Elizabeth Banks), who’s not as sweet as her berret would suggest.

Blatantly mocking the romantic comedy genre’s clichés, the audience guesses Cecile and Eliot “belong together” because they both read the dictionary (“you’re up to G? Oh G is a classic!”), but Eliot is head over khaki flared Dockers for Caroline. The two enjoy a seemingly happy & healthy relationship, that is, until Caroline miraculously runs into her beefy & adventurous high school sweetheart and Eliot’s anxiety intensifies. Though different from Stella, Showalter manages to poke PG-rated fun while simultaneously harnessing the hallmark charm of crowd-pleasing chick flicks. Moreover, this amusing romantic comedy spoof entertains with the all-star cast of David Wain, Paul Rudd, and A.D. Miles, and almost feels like A Wet Hot American Summer reunion.

Thursday, June 16th: All We Are Saying
Rosanna Arquette's documentary follows some of the top musicians, including Stevie Nicks, Sting, and Joni Mitchell, as well as industry insiders by interviewing them on how they balance work with their personal lives.

Friday, June 17th: SHOW/BUSINESS
Directed by Broadway producer Dori Berinstein, this film profiles the risk, passion, and work behind last season's biggest Broadway musicals ("Wicked", "Avenue Q", "Taboo" & "Caroline, or Change") as they prepare for their opening nights.

Saturday, June 18th: Alchemy
The film asks the question: “What is love-and how much hard drive space does it take up?” An assistant professor (Tom Cavanagh) creates a computer capable of emotion and in order to gain approval of college administrators, he decides to test his creation by seeing if it can win a female’s affections.