Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Sleepwalk With Me

sleepwalk

Mike Birbiglia is a comedian who happens to be a sleepwalker. In fact, he once fell out of a window while sleepwalking causing himself to require 33 stitches.

Sleepwalk with Me is a semi-autobiographical movie based on his hit one-man show of the same name. Birbiglia stars as Matt – an unknown comic who works as a bartender at a comedy club with aspirations of someday making it big. Abby (Lauren Ambrose) is his longtime girlfriend that he just can’t find himself committing to.

As a comedian, his act is stale until he starts interjecting true (but sometimes painful) stories about his real life relationship with Abby. He starts to have a little success as a comic on the road, however his home life with Abby seems to be deteriorating. To make matters worse, his sleepwalking spells are increasingly putting him into bad situations.

I didn’t dislike Sleepwalk with Me, but I just didn’t connect with the movie like I wanted to. Mike Birbiglia was funny in a way only Birbiglia can be, but I just felt like the movie lacked a little something that could’ve made it a hit. At times, the movie felt like it was hitting some of the same heartstrings as some indie-commercial blockbusters from the past few years such as Garden State and Little Miss Sunshine, but it just seem to come up a little short for me.

6.5

out of 10

09

01 2013

The Campaign

After the onslaught of months and months of negative political campaign ad after negative political campaign ad along with debates, commentary, and analysis that could drive anyone insane, why would anyone want to watch anything that has to do with politics right now?

Imagine Will Ferrell in his George Bush character playing a parodied version of John Edwards. He’s been in his fair share of mediocre movies, but when he’s on (Anchorman, Old School, Step Brothers), there is no funnier comedic actor in Hollywood.

The plot of the movie is quite simple. Will Ferrel stars as Cam Brady, a misogynous and immoral North Carolina congressman who is running for office unopposed. After leaving an inappropriate message on the answering machine of one of his many mistresses, corrupt corporate business leaders The Motch brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow) decide to throw money behind goofball Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) to try to take over Brady’s congress seat and make profits from Chinese companies posing as American companies. Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott) is hired as the slick campaign manager who is trying to reinvent Marty’s image.

The movie is flat out funny. Having not heard a whole lot of rumblings about this, I assumed this movie might have been another one of Ferrell’s swing-and-misses, but I was dead wrong. I would even go as far to say as this movie would sit on my “Will Ferrell movie mantle” just a rung or two below the king – Anchorman.

It’s crude, it’s rude, and it’s inappropriate, but it’s certainly Will Ferrell at his finest. If you are a fan of having fun while being entertained, I highly recommend checking out this low-brow, high-laughs comedy.

8.0

out of 10

15

11 2012

That’s My Boy

Adam Sandler. What happened to this guy? While he’s always been criticized for being sophomoric and dumb, some 15-20 years ago, he was actually funny. Some day, 15-20 years from now, my daughter will likely see Adam Sandler

After making Mr. Deeds, a movie that was critically panned (but admittedly, I enjoyed), his production company (Happy Madison Productions) has been a part of 23 films. On average, Rotten Tomatoes has given them around a 24 (which drops to 20 if you remove his two dramatic films – Reign Over Me and the unfunny Funny People). However, they’ve pulled in an average of $136 million for a grand total of over $3.1 billion. $3.1 billion for nary a good movie. Unbelievable!?!

However, when the previews for That’s My Boy came out, I didn’t have my normal reaction to seeing a trailer for a new Adam Sandler movie. Simply, I didn’t want to throw up in the back of my mouth. I actually really like Andy Samberg (Hot Rod was great and his work on SNL was always enjoyable). The director – Sean Anders – was responsible for one of the funniest movies of the past couple years (Hot Tub Time Machine) along with another underrated comedy (She’s Out of My League). Sandler, instead of playing the goofy guy in the PG-13 movie, went back to his juvenile, R-rated roots that everyone who grew up in the 90s loved (admit it… you loved “The Goat,” “At A Medium Pace,” and “Ode To My Car”) Kevin James and Rob Schneider weren’t in the credits. On paper, this movie looked like it had a tiny chance of actually being funny. Then, the movie came out, financially bombed (a rarity for anything Sandler-related) and got panned by critics who claimed it was “an ugly, tasteless, deadly and mean-spirited piece of filmmaking” and “vulgar, trite, sexist, misogynist, hacky, tacky, gross, sentimental and stupid, with occasional flourishes of racism and veiled homophobia thrown in to boot.”

That’s My Boy was certainly all of these things. Only, unlike anything else Sandler has touched in the past 10 years, it’s also really, really funny.

That’s My Boy is the story of Donny Berger (Sandler) who is a teenage boy who gets his teacher pregnant. She is sent to jail and their love child – Han Solo Berger (Samberg) – is raised by Donny until he moves out of the house and changes his identity. Donny Berger becomes a teenage star. Nearly 30 years later, Donny is broke and no longer famous. He finds out he needs to make a $43,000 payment for back taxes or else he’s going to jail. Donny tries to reunite with his son who has changed his name and is getting married.

As with any of the really good Sandler movies (yes, these exist), the plot is pretty pointless. We aren’t talking about highbrow comedy or an art house storyline. Had someone watched Sandler on SNL, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy, suffered a massive head injury and been in a coma for 14 years only to come back awake in time for the release of That’s My Boy, it would completely fit in with the narrative of his career. In fact, many times when I was watching this movie, I kept thinking that That’s My Boy felt like it had the spirit of an R-rated Billy Madison.

Surely, That’s My Boy will be unfairly be clumped in with the (many) steaming piles of poo Adam Sandler has lent his name to over the past 10 years. There are a few scenes (particularly those with Dan Patrick, Vanilla Ice, and especially Rex Ryan) that are brilliant. Chances are you’ve long since given up on Sandler movies, but if you’ve enjoyed some of the funnier “hard R” films of the past few years (Hot Tub Time Machine, any of the Apatow movies, etc), I suggest giving this a chance. At the very least, you’re out $1.50 from the Redbox.

7.0

out of 10

22

10 2012