funny people01 Aug 2009
I went and saw this on Friday with The Briggs.. A quick review (warning: my “reviews” are just an excuse to ramble about whatever it made me think of): the first half is a typical judd apatow comedy, the second half is a sorta meh romcomish situation dramedy. or something. It was a lot longer than I expected. I think the Apatow brand of humor has about run its course for me, however this movie did prove that there’s probably no upper limit on the number of dick jokes I will laugh at in one sitting. Also, Eric Bana is increasingly one of my favorite actors – and I was going to say something about his hilariously over-the-top Australian accent and how great it was, until I remember that he actually is Australian. Faaaaaack.
Lastly, one thing I really did like, hopefully without too many spoilers, so I guess skip this part if you’re worried about it: towards the end of the movie (once it transitioned from dick-joke comedy into dramedy), there’s this moment where Adam Sandler’s character is pursuing a long-lost love, who has moved on with her life, re-married, and has a happy family. The gist of his monologue is that why shouldn’t he have happiness, maybe he didn’t work hard enough at it, he just had to try harder to get her back, etc etc. (apologies for the brutal paraphrasing). I was about to slap my forehead at this point: here with go with this again.
This is a pervasive and very dangerous idea/theme in our popular culture that manifests in basically every movie or story dealing with love or relationships: the protagonist has this one long lost true love – the “one that got away” – and through the course of the movie, resolves to get her/him back, despite the fact that the ship has sailed. He/she acts boldly – insanely, perhaps – and through this craziness, truth shines through, true love wins the day, fireworks, rainbows, and that bullshit. This is a dangerous thing to be featured so prominently, of course, because real life rarely works that way – and it no doubt plants the seed in many a poor soul’s brain that they should obstinately pursue a “long lost” love, much to the detriment of everyone involved. How many stalkers and restraining orders have been born of a poorly-conceived romantic comedy? This is an epidemic that could be prevented, people.
(Side-note thought: What’s the difference between a creepy stalker and a daring, romantic soul? Creepy stalkers aren’t hot. Badump bump.)
Anyways, so there’s that, and it’s also just a pretty cliched movie theme. I was glad to see, then, that this movie doesn’t actually fall victim to that, which is good. I won’t say how, since maybe you want to still see the movie.
All in all, it was an okay movie, not great. Usually for “not great” movies, people say “wait for DVD”, but I’ve never found that to be true for me. If I’m gonna bother to get something on DVD, I want it to be good. Seeing a movie in a theatre on a Friday after work – meh, it doesn’t have to be anything that great. This movie was good for that. A mediocre friday night movie. So, go see it in a theatre. Have some popcorn. Laugh at a dick joke or two.