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Non-Review Review: Just Go With It

I have to concede, I think Adam Sandler is sort of struggling through something a transitional stage of his career. We’re past the point where Sandler can so easily play the angry young man who defined films like Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore or Big Daddy, so we’re faced with an actor trying reconcile himself with that fact. Now, it seems the actor is preoccupied with the idea of finally growing up – as we see in films like Grown Ups and Just Go With It. The problem is that Sandler isn’t nearly as convincing or as interesting as a mellowing out man instead of an acting-out manchild.

Divorced from reality...

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We Made a F%$&ing Movie! MacGruber and Unsympathetic Comedic Leads…

The film is a slapstick comedy with a hero who is a nice guy. I thought that wasn’t allowed anymore. He’s a single dad, bringing up his daughter with the help of his mom. He takes his job seriously. He may be chubby, but he’s brave and optimistic.

Roger Ebert on Paul Blart: Mall Cop

I watched MacGruber over the weekend. It was okay – it wasn’t fantastic, and it wasn’t one of the best examples of anything, but if you wanted a shedload of juvenile humour, well… it was right up your street. However, watching the film did get me thinking about just how much of a jerk the title character was. How much of a horrible person can a comedy protagonist be? When did it become the norm for these sorts of characters to be presented with completely irredeemable traits?

Sometimes it's an up-hill struggle to empathise with a protagonist...

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Non-Review Review: Funny People

Funny People is the very definition of “self-indulgent”. It’s a series of comedians from both the big leagues – movie stars – and the smaller circles – the improv stand-up circuit – reflecting on how difficult life is for an entertainer. Be it the generalisation that showbiz types are all cynical and disconnected to the point of being anhedonic, or the observation that fame and success typically come with a high personal cost. Of course, coming from director Judd Atapow – who carved out his earlier career with comedies centred on everyman (okay, maybe “slacker”) types like Knocked-Up or The Forty-Year-Old Virgin – a film about the types of circles that he moved in was a risky venture, one which would definitely represent a move away from the “common man” appeal of his earlier films. And at least those films had the gift of brevity.

My girlfriend would like you all to know that apparently I wear shirts like this...

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Non-Review Review: Happy Gilmore

I’m not a guy who likes Adam Sandler – except maybe in The Wedding Singer or something. Still, it seems that the most unlikely people are inevitably fated to have a soft spot for a particular Sandler comedy, even if it doesn’t quite deserve it – my better half’s father, for example, has an inexplicable affection for Little Nicky. I, however, have a completely illogical affection for Happy Gilmore – despite the fact that I make note of its many flaws even as I watch it. It’s a movie I can’t quite justify my affection for, which perhaps makes it even more oddly endearing.

Taking a swing at it...

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