Comedies these days (especially those in the great RomCom genre) suffer from a plethora of issues. First among them is that the stories aren’t strong enough to support a succinct, one hour and thirty minute movie that will entertain and allow the person to leave and be fulfilled. Now, we are forced to watch movies that have to be over two hours long due to a) the story being poorly written and unrealistic to the point that elongated scenes of “awkward comedy” have to be placed in the middle, and due to the movies not being funny at all, this awkwardness hipster movie makers call comedy today is shoved down our throats. I mean, over two hours? This thing needed an intermission. It’s hard enough for dramas to grasp their audiences for two hours, but it’s even harder for a comedy. Half of this movie should have been on the DVD special disc along with the other three hours of “deleted awkward scenes posing as comedy” that made it there.
Since I don’t do full out reviews of movies, I’ll give you the quick and dirty. This guy (I don’t remember his name) proposes to this girl (shit, I don’t remember her name). So they met at an awkward New Year’s Eve party (I think it was New Years’s Eve). Anyway, this movie goes on and tells us about his decision to leave his job, where he is a sous chef in trendy San Francisco, heaven for chefs and also leave a new opportunity to be an executive chef at a new restaurant to follow his girlfriend on some g-dang mission around the world getting what she refers to as a “teaching position” (being an academic as well, I didn’t realize till an hour into the movie that she was going after a post-doc position. I don’t understand why she applied to only two places, Berkeley and Michigan. With all of the effing colleges in California, why did she feel she needed this post-doc in Michigan at this moment in her life, I don’t know?) I know how important these positions can be in one’s academic life, but I also realize that the realities of life need to be balanced. So, if she wanted this post-doc badly enough, why didn’t she just go do it for a year or two then they get married after that? It seems harsh, but these are the lives people lead when they are with someone or if they themselves are in higher ed trying to achieve college/faculty positions. He was in the much better position at the time in his respective field, so it seems silly that he would have picked up and left for Michigan, but it happened.
Anyway, I’m getting sick of writing this already because of how much I hate this movie. Because Apatow/Rothman/Segal and company wanted to take part in the circle jerk as long as they could, the movie’s story, which could have been summed up in a classic one hours thirty minute framework goes on for over two hours. So, we are fed awkward best friend antics at awkward rehearsal dinners/engagement parties (singing some silly song that is, unfortunately, revisited in an awkward ending, a slideshow of past women the lead guy has been with), the engagement party itself was around ten minutes. Let’s see how else this awkward-fest continues? There’s some scene at the end where the lead chick and her sister have a conversation in Sesame Street voices for at least five minutes. There’s about five minutes devoted to the lead guy chasing the lead girl’s professor/love interest (because, yes, that always happens in real life. The female grad student ALWAYS leaves her fiancé for the professor) down the street for another awkward five minutes. I’m all about comedy, but when a movie is going already so long, you have to be diligent about trimming the fat. Especially when that fat doesn’t add any flavor to the movie. It only adds cholesterol and other bad shit that hardens and clogs your arteries.
And I HATE poorly written movies that put the lead characters in positions unrealistic to their character just to add to the story. I mean, no way this girl would have ever HAD AN AFFAIR with that professor? No way the lead guy would have gone into some sort of man of the wild, bearded, rustic phase of his life which involved meade and fur-covered mugs and tons and tons of venison. And once they separated and he went back to San Francisco, no way would he have hooked up with some twenty-three year old girl who he has nothing in common with. We are led to believe these characters are genuine, but we are also forced to deal with their fuck ups in order to progress a poorly-written movie. And boy, you want awkward comedy, check out the ten-minutes-that-seems-like-an-hour where they show us the lead guy and that new chick’s relationship. Ugh.
People laughed in this theater like this was the greatest comedy produced in decades. So maybe I’m wrong. But then again, maybe they were laughing because they were extremely uncomfortable and had no choice. Maybe, like my girlfriend said, they were laughing so hard because there was so little to laugh at that they wanted to get all of their laughs in. No matter. As you can tell from earlier posts, I’m no fan of awkward comedy. I’m no fan of people trying to make movies into more than they are. This script could have been tightened up, these ridiculous scenes which were uncharacteristic of the figures could have been trimmed, we could have deleted many of these hipster comedy scenes and I think we would have had a nice, cute comedy. Instead, we get the products of a hipster funny circle jerk that leaves us wanting to gouge our eyes out at the end. The great comedies of Hollywood’s past didn’t have to try so hard. They made us laugh. They did it in just over an hour. There’s a reason comedies these days don’t win Oscars.
Rerunguy’s rating: 1.5 out of 4 stars