Summer comedies break the tension

Sharing screens this summer with super heroes and comic book characters are a lot of promising comedies. So along with the bam, crash, bang, you can enjoy a few laughs, too.

“Bridesmaids” opens May 13 and is being heralded as “Hangover” for chicks. Despite protestations to the contrary from producer Judd Apatow, the trailer looks like exactly that as group of gal pals head to Las Vegas before a big wedding. Starring Rose Byrne and “SNL’s” Kristen Wiig in her first lead role, this looks like a lot of fun. Hopes are riding high on these ladies.

On a trip to NYC last summer, I watched as crews turned Park Avenue into a winter wonderland to film outdoor scenes for the Jim Carrey feature about a man so obsessed with penguins he’s gifted with six of the little creatures. The only problem is he lives in an apartment in the city. Angela Lansbury also appears, but don’t be fooled. The little furry guys in the tuxedos are the real stars of “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” And only penguins stand a chance of upstaging Carrey’s antics. Opens June 17.

The buzz on “Bad Teacher” is Cameron Diaz is really bad — in a good way — in this comedy about a burned-out teacher out to land a rich husband, who happens to be real-life former flame Justin Timberlake playing the substitute teacher she sets her sights on. Look for Lucy Punch as a rival teacher to steal some scenes from Diaz. Jason Segel also stars in the raunchy R-rated comedy opening June 24.

On location earlier this year, Tom Hanks tweeted daily about how much fun he was having filming “Larry Crowne.” We’ll see if it translates to the screen. The titular character played by Hanks, who also directs, is a laid-off box factory worker who tries to re-invent himself by taking classes at a local community college. He gets the hots for teacher played by Julia Roberts. Opens July 1.

“Horrible Bosses” hopefully won’t give anyone ideas about offing their employers, but Justin Bateman and Jason Sudeikis try just that to alleviate their miserable working conditions in this wacky comedy. Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Colin Ferrell also play along. Opens July 8.

If “Friends with Benefits” sounds familiar, it is. Earlier this year, “No Strings Attached,” almost the same movie only with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, was released, so this was held until summer. The story is the same but the players have changed to Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as a guy and a girl who try to avoid the messy entrapments of relationships by agreeing to limit it buddy sex — and we know how that always turns out. Opens July 22.

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is the Steve Carrell entry for the summer season. He plays a recently divorced man looking for his mojo with Ryan Gosling as the ladies’ man who helps him find it. Julianne Moore and Emma Stone play the love interests. Opens July 29.

“The Change-Up” is a new twist on the old Disney movie “Freaky Friday” with estranged best friends Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds somehow switching bodies and having to deal with each other’s lives until they can undo what’s happened. Co-starring are Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde. Opens Aug. 5.

“Our Idiot Brother” was a hit at Sundance a few months ago with Paul Rudd leading a great cast as the dullard of a brother to three much smarter sisters played by Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel. When he gets busted selling pot to a cop, the whole family gets involved. Opens Aug. 26.

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