With a preposterous premise, character actors in the lead roles, and an overlong running time, “Babysplitters” nevertheless “is often funnier than it has a right to be,” Burr says in a 2½-star review. The story of two married couples who decide to “time-share” a child sounds tailor-made for anyone who misses “The Office”: “The setup is ridiculous, but the playing is pure comedy of mortification and watch-through-your-fingers funny.”
Rosamund Pike’s performance is one of the only bright spots in the disappointing Marie Curie biopic “Radioactive,” Burr writes in a two-star review. For the most part, the film — directed by Marjane Satrapi, “with a plodding script by Jack Thorne,” who adapted Lauren Redniss’s graphic novel — “is a heavy-handed slog through a fascinating life.”
Another two-star effort, writer-director Karen Maine’s “Yes, God, Yes,” is a teen sex comedy with promising elements — religion, hypocrisy, technology, masturbation — that fails in the execution. Writes Burr: “Flatly filmed, drably lit, and sluggishly paced, ‘Yes, God, Yes’ takes a cheeky premise and slowly lets the air out of it.”
The name is unwieldy, but if the new releases don’t appeal, Burr also offers up the latest installment in the hit series “10 Streaming Movies You May Have Forgotten About That Ty Really Liked Sometime in the Last 20 Years.” He cheats a little — one of the picks is actually 11 films — but any reminder that Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” is at your fingertips is a good one.
TV: The fictional boy-band star at the center of “Maxxx” is past his celebrity expiration date but “so starved for applause, adoration, and money he will do anything . . . to get back in the limelight,” says Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert. Written by and starring O-T Fagbenle (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), the six-episode British series lampoons “a narcissist defined by his hunger for stardom” without making him a monster. “Ultimately, we understand that Maxxx is essentially searching for love, but trying to find it through magazine covers and dated dance moves.”
“Maxxx” is on Hulu, just one of the many options befuddling a reader in search of help from Ask Matthew. Gilbert offers strategies for figuring out which streaming services are right for you as well as a crucial reminder: “[Y]ou can subscribe to a service for a month or two, then stop.”
LIVEGUIDE: The Globe’s LiveGuide abounds with digital events listings, including happenings recommended by Globe critics and writers. You can use it to find things to do, see, and listen to in channels including arts and books, streaming movies and TV, music, kids, true crime, nature, and more.
THEATER: Everything old is new again: The Huntington Theatre Company’s “Dream Boston” series of audio plays sounds a lot like what your grandparents knew as radio drama. Set in the post-pandemic Boston area, the plays blend futurism and current events, namely the killing of George Floyd. “We understood that we could not talk about the future without talking about the present,” Huntington artist-in-residence Melinda Lopez tells Globe critic Don Aucoin. Six plays are available now, with six more coming next month.
With the “built-in ephemerality” of live theater temporarily inaccessible, Aucoin also turns to film; namely, the top-notch documentaries “Every Little Step,” “Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened,” and “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.” The first two focus on productions of “A Chorus Line” and “Merrily We Roll Along.” “What keeps them going?” Aucoin asks of the performers. “Almost always, it’s the need to perform.”
VISUAL ART: The Clark Art Institute is back with “Lin May Saeed: Arrival of the Animals,” a compelling survey with particular resonance “in these desperately troubling times,” writes Globe art critic Murray Whyte. “Saeed’s animal kingdoms have the warm, handcrafted glow of a cartoon utopia,” and ultimately, the German-Iraqi artist’s “unpredictable” multimedia creations “are deeply fantastical meditations of hope.”
MUSEUMS: The Clark is one of dozens of area cultural institutions reopening with new protocols for ticketing and visiting. Another is the Discovery Museum in Acton, which will be free for the next month. “We didn’t want anyone staying home because they couldn’t afford to come,” CEO Neil Gordon tells Globe correspondent Diti Kohli. Find the full list here.
MUSIC: Singer-songwriter Lori McKenna is a Nashville success but doesn’t consider herself a country artist. ““I write songs about people’s stories and that’s what I’m drawn to and that’s what Americana is about,” the Grammy Award-winning Stoughton resident tells Globe correspondent Eric R. Danton. “It’s regular people’s stories sung into a song.” Friday’s virtual release party for her 11th album, “The Balladeer,” is a benefit for Club Passim.
Now that virtual is the default mode for musical performances, classical artists are embracing alternative formats. Globe critic Jeremy Eichler spotlights five classical podcasts that can help fill the live-performance-shaped hole in your heart. They include WNYC’s Aria Code, which reels in both experts and novices with its “combination of substance and zip,” and the BBC’s “legendary” Desert Island Discs.
FOOD & DINING: “We felt dim sum was an essential part of life,” China Pearl co-owner Brian Moy tells Globe restaurant critic Devra First, who reports back from a trip to the recently reopened Boston location, where families are loading up on takeout. “I, too, have purchased a large amount of food from China Pearl.,” she writes “I just don’t intend to share it with anyone.” Hashtag #goals.
BOOKS: Natasha Trethewey’s new memoir, “Memorial Drive,” is “a luminous and searing work of prose from the Pulitzer Prize-winning former poet laureate,” says Globe reviewer Imani Perry. The book centers on the murder of the author’s mother in Atlanta when Trethewey was 19. “This is a specific daughter’s memoir, but it is also a daughter’s memoir in a collective sense, a way of braiding together a legacy.”
“Ripped from the headlines” doesn’t usually apply to art, but these are not usual times. The inspiration for Chantal Zakari’s new artist’s book, “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” was the unexpected beauty in illustrations of the coronavirus. “Science is objective, but the representation may not be,” the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University professor tells Globe correspondent Cate McQuaid.
BUT REALLY: Even after four months, isolation and social distancing aren’t second nature, but they’re getting there. And then you see the headline “The Cantab Lounge is up for sale” and tumble down a memory hole of R&B so loud you could hear it a block away. It’s a sad place to have to crawl out of. But hang in there, New Englanders — we flattened the curve, and wouldn’t it be great not to have to do it again? Wear your mask and wash your hands!