A Trio of Comedies
It’s a personal quirk that while I am a big fan of comedy films, it’s pretty rare for me to go see them in the theater. I’m not talking about comic-_____ films (comic-adventures, comic-romances, etc) … I’m talking about pure comedies, though I suppose that one could have a rousing debate trying to split that particular hair. Let’s just say it’s a personal take, and I can tell the difference from my own admittedly skewed perspective.
Anyway, I don’t go to see many comedies. The reason mainly is that they disappoint me more often than other genres do. A comedy only has to be a little flat, or a little off-beat in a way that doesn’t synch with my tastes, to take the air out of the whole experience. Comedic-_____s at least have the blank to fall back on.
However, in the past few weeks I’ve been to see THREE comedies and liked them all.
It started about ten days ago when I went to see The Hangover, Part II at the local second-run theater. I’m actually much more willing to see comedies at that theater, mainly because the cost is lower and therefore so are my expectations. And, really, it’s the $3 ticket price that made this such a positive experience. The Hangover 2 is pretty much just a re-tread of the original, but with the stakes, mistakes, and attitude all turned up to metaphorical-eleven … and, since that’s all I really expected, I enjoyed the heck out of it. I doubt I’d have been as kind if I’d paid $11 for my ticket. Anyway, if you liked the first Hangover, you’re almost certainly going to like the second. Rent it, or stream it, or Netflix it, or whatever it is you like to do that gets you cheap movie viewings.
Then, over the weekend, my friend Cindi talked me into seeing Crazy, Stupid Love., a movie about which I knew nothing. Really, though, once she told me that Steve Carell was in it, I was sold … the addition of Julianne Moore and Marisa Tomei only sealed the deal. What I got was a surprisingly bizarre, somewhat dark, romantic comedy that kept me laughing all the way through nearly two full hours. It also managed the nearly miraculous feat of being simultaneously poignant, irreverent, cynical, mysterious, tightly crafted, and have a feel-good ending ON TOP of being genuinely funny throughout. I’m still agog at how they managed to pull all that off.
Finally, my friend Monte talked me into seeing 30 Minutes Or Less, another movie I knew next to nothing about (though I’d heard about it from my friends who live in Grand Rapids, MI, where it was filmed). This ALMOST fell into being a stoner/disaffected youth movie, but every time it did they added a level of grit that fought against any kind of pigeonholing. It’s fast-paced, funny, farcical, funny, oddly touching, funny, irreverent, but mostly funny. The thing is, although it’s still a first-run movie playing at full-priced theaters, I used a free pass to see it … so I think my enjoyment was improved by the fact that I had no out-of-pocket expense for my ticket. I’m not sure I’d have been quite as charmed if my wallet was $11 lighter for the experience. So I’m not 100% sure I can recommend that you run out and see it in the theater right away … but definitely look for this one on cable or download in a few months. It’s DEFINITELY worth your time!