Category Archives: Comedy

Very Ordinary Couple (Foreign-Romance-Comedy)

index“No matter how much you want a romance to work, statistically after the first breakup your chances of the relationships longevity is limited”

After an initial breakup Lee Dong-hee and Jang Young are on the rebound track, but like most, are still unintentionally thinking of one another.  To make matter worse, they are also co-workers and have had to keep their relationship a secret for some time.  They try to move on, but after a few thoughtless mistakes and irrevocable decisions, they fall back into each other’s warm embrace and try to give their relationship another shot.  This time they are consciously avoiding the issues that pushed them apart in the first place, but begin to realize this may not be enough.

This Korean rom-com has all of the universal elements for this genre; including awkward comedic situations, forgiveness without bounds, and of course gobs of irrational behavior customarily triggered by jealousy.  One component that does set this apart from the company it keeps, is the authentic dialogue and relational elements that conjure empathy from those who have been there before.

This 20-somthing modern take on relationships spellbinds the viewers through both a relate-able storyline and two loveable characters.  The on screen chemistry apparent between these two, along with both characters personal convictions and flaws, formed an honest screenplay that was an engaging and uplifting even to the bitter end.  These two negatively charged magnets did everything positive to come together, but sadly an inert invisible force relentlessly kept a field of polarity between them.

 

Filth (Comedy-Crime-Drama)

Filth“The title lacks novelty, but is still a very accurate representation of what the film is made out to be”

A detective by the name of Bruce is in line to become promoted, but first he must impress the chief as well as devise a plan to beat out his colleagues. Out of the other detectives, he really only sees a few that could stand in his way and all but one can be subdued. One major problem with his backstabbing and elaborate sabotaging is he is in no state of mind to competently remove his competitors from the runnings. With his drug, drinking, and sex habits coupled with his steadily increasing hallucinations, the odds of his victory are quickly decreasing as his insanity continues to overwhelm him.

The representation of Scotland from the start is quite a shame, and the characters and debauchery that converge with it are anything but pleasant. Having talent such as James McAvoy leading the show into complete despair was troublesome, and will make many question his integrity for future role selections. The performance itself was intense and compelling, but the screenplay dragged him into becoming a sick individual that twisted your perception of him into a pathetic self indulged coward.

The random hallucinatory components were disturbing and horrifyingly fascinating to start which tugged you along, up until the origin of disorder came to light, making them cliché and ridiculously illogical. Once you finally understand what is provoking this heavily weighted downward spiral into madness, you come to realize you will never redeem the 90 minutes of your life you spent waiting for some type of empathic anecdote.

Coneheads (Comedy-Family-Sci-Fi)

index“Human Authority Figures! Nyaaaaaah!!!”

While on a surveillance mission of planet Earth, Beldar (Dan Aykryod) and his partner Prymatt (Jane Curtin), crash their spacecraft and become stranded until further notice. To adapt to their new environment, Beldar works as a productive appliance mechanic and his partner a trophy mobile home wife under the alias Donald and Mary Margret DeCicco. Once Beldars green card has been discovered to be fraudulent by the INS, they quickly move camp leaving their belonging and are forced to start their lives over once again. Prymatt soon births a daughter Connie and they create an identity as Mr. and Mrs. Conehead who are French immigrants attempting to live the American dream as they wait to be retrieved by inhabitants of their home planet Remulak.

Based off of a Saturday Night Live skit, this goofball Sci-Fi comedy will bring the viewers laughter to “mass quantities”. Mr. and Mrs. Coneheads obtuse articulations of the human language create a dry and hilarious dynamic between everyone they encounter.  Chris Farley, Jason Alexander, Jon Lovitz, and a few others from the SNL crew make up a supporting cast that effortlessly create humorous scenarios keen to all types of audiences.

Going into the screenplay, it was simply the full backstory of these beloved cone-headed characters using the same framework that made this duo memorable to begin with.  Since these scenes were obviously not recorded live; special effects and other components restrictive on stage gave free range to the directors’ portrayals of these aliens and their bizarre attributes they inherited. It would be a distinctly plausible position that this strip of framed sequences played at quantifiable levels will not be forgotten for at minimum 40 zurls or until mass extinction of all earthlings.

Cheap Thrills (Comedy-Thriller)

cheap“How far would you stretch your moral integrity for cold hard cash?”

Family man Craig (Pat Healy) just lost his job as a car mechanic the day he received a 7 days until eviction notice.  While wallowing in his sorrows at a local bar, he runs into his high school drop out buddy Vince (Ethan Embry).  After some small talk Vince is approached by Colin, a high roller (David Koechner) accompanied by his newlywed meloncholy wife Violet (Sara Paxton).  In honor of his wife’s birthday, Colin wants to make a night to remember daring these two new friends with harmless gags for money.  The payoff on these antics begins to steadily increase, but so do the stakes.

The actors did a plausible job at depicting the stereotypical players set in this game of life, making it effortless to understand their motivations.  They were without a doubt type-casted to play these characters, which actually worked in their favor tremendously as their performances were very believable.

The plot itself was really just comic mischief, yet a surprising twist half way through cranked the dial from playful to deranged.  The humor was pretty dark throughout and was meant to make the viewer feel uneasy in almost every scene.  There definitely were a few moments that were in bad taste and may turn some audiences off, but before you know it they are on to the next challenge and you get pulled right back in.

Surprisingly enough, even though the nature of the film was unsettling, the way the comedy was layered within the insanity was thoughtful and made the film a real delight.   Expect money, debauchery, drugs, and a whole lot of blood and I bet you’ll enjoy it.

 

 

Prince Avalanche (Drama-Comedy)

aval“Lets take two funny men and make one pathetically serious and the other a bland immature idiot”

After the historic forest fires of Texas in 1988, the rural countryside needs help fixing their back roads.  So after the initial infrastructure is complete, Alvin (Paul Rudd) is contracted in the summer months to be a line painter with the help of his girlfriends younger brother (Emile Hirsch).  Though these two are polar opposites and annoy the hell out of each other, they grow to understand one another when their lives hit a rough patch.

Anyone with half a brain could see how this whole story was going to play out.  Alvin was just miserable the whole time and was so cliche it made you depressed just looking at him.  Not to mention Lance, the stereotypical horny 20-something burnout whose low self-esteem lures him to high school girls.  Both of these characters were so poorly written and over the top you couldn’t even play along with the charade.

The goal of the movie was simple, with the intention to develop these two pitiful souls into something special.  What ended up happening was they took too much time pealing back their layers, when the onions were translucent to begin with.  After this time was wasted, they made it up by rushing through the actual storyline and maturing process of the characters and left everything unfinished.

Another minor fault was the painful obvious attempt to make this an artsy indie comedy.  We don’t need the panning shots, dreamlike sequences, and stills just give us what we came to see.  David Gordon Green, the director, should stick to what he is good at and give us more fast paced and vulgar comedies and stay away from this genre.

It wasn’t unwatchable as there were a few funny scenes when the characters let loose and became the actors we know and love, but this was very short lived.  The local moonshine man really stole the show in my eyes, and was the only refreshing character of the whole film.  In the end, most would expect a goofy, dark, or at least cute comedy with these loveable actors, but you end up hitting roadblock after roadblock of mediocre proportions.

Harold and Maude (Romance-Comedy-Drama)

maude“Live life, fake death, and let love grow like a sunflower”

Meet Harold, a morbid teenager who fakes elaborate suicides to get a rise out of his waspy mother and also enjoys long walks at the cemetery.  Meet Maude, a widow on the brink of 80 who sails through life without regret and is a collector of others valuables, a grand theft auto enthusiast and part-time environmental activist.  When these two run into each other at their favorite past-time, funeral crashing, what starts off as an unexpected friendship grows into a timeless romance.

This synopsis is true on the surface, but this is not the reason the movie has been a cult classic for decades.  From the opener a panning scene focuses solely on dress shoes with the melodies of Cat Stevens leading you unpredictably to a darker, yet unexpectedly comical and recurring incident of the film.  At this point you begin to realize that this is much more than a rom-com, and actually shouldn’t even be categorized as so.

The dualism of life and death is an obvious motif used bluntly throughout the film and usually shown in succession.  Coinciding with this, the picture ingeniously makes a mockery of serious subject matters that society deems offensive, taboo, or immoral usually at the expense of one of the supporting cast.  Theses memorable side characters are used primarily to bridge the development and fluidity of the plot, but they also unconsciously bring outlandish and dry humor with them. When looking beyond this observable narrative, you will see Harold and Maude dancing, singing, or usually causing mischief in pure spontaneity.

The layers of both Harold and Maude bloom in sync with their love story showing their true colors with every courageous step.  This film is undoubtedly held together by the unlikely bond between these two characters, but the core of the message is deeper than simply the “power of love”.  These two spirits were brought together to bring forth the realization of their fragile moralities,  teaching each other to cherish these brief moments and embrace the inevitable.

Bad Grandpa (Comedy)

grandp“A horny old man and his grandson take a road trip fueled by booze and shart jokes”

Irving Zisman, or Grandpa, (Johnny Knoxville) takes a journey cross country to take his grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll) to his fathers after his mom was sent to jail.  At the same time Irving has just become a bachelor after his wife has passed away, and he is more than eager to jump back on the bandwagon of love.

As always the jackass crew left no prisoners, pulling stunts on unsuspecting people without regret.  There wasn’t a gag that didn’t make you laugh, but at times they pushed it past funny and into crude.  The child actor really kept character, especially when you think he had one chance to pull it off.  One scene that really impressed me was when Billy fooled an unsuspecting man that he indirectly adopted him.  He kept this going without even a smirk for longer than Jimmy Fallon could have I guarantee you.

One major criticism was that they tried to make this into an actual movie when the viewers came to see pranks.  When the camera went to Knoxville attempting to act, while him and his grandson are the only two on camera, it was just painful.  We get it Knoxville, you’ve been in a few movies but lets stick to what works, you can’t sell the bond developing between these two characters and it only takes away from the flow of the film.  This unnecessary third act was luckily saved by an epic last stunt that I still don’t know how they got permission to do.