Tag Archives: movie comedy

Color your view

I saw The Oranges at the theatre yesterday.

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a comedy starring Hugh Laurie, Oliver Platt, Alison Janney, Catherine Keener, Adam Brody, and Leighton Meester.

So there are a few good reasons to see it.

But some people argue that the subject matter of this comedy might be a reason not to.

In this farce — and believe me, it is really funny — the close friendship of two families is challenged when the dad from family #1 has an affair with the college-aged daughter of family #2.

Is this too taboo to even laugh about?  I say yes..but then I’ve seen it.  Other folks I know think it’s too icky to even go see.  But we see movies about murder and war and terrorism all the time.  Does exploring internal family strife — in the name of comedy — really cross the line?  At least give it a look before you decide.

Then judge, judge, judge.

Worthy candidate

I laughed and laughed at The Campaign this afternoon…which is really no surprise.

What made me laugh was.

I  expected Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to be funny.  Their take on two candidates for a US Senate seat in North Carolina was over-the-top and out-of-control.  No issue was off-limits. No person, place or thing (translation: animal) was safe if their misuse provided a potential positive bump in the polls.

But for me, the surprises kept this movie from being your standard comedy.  Things the trailer didn’t reveal.  Cameos it didn’t spoil (and I won’t either).  The promos even used some alternative footage so that the real punch lines weren’t given away before you sat down in the theatre.

What a novel idea.

Probably my biggest ‘aha’ in The Campaign is how much I enjoyed the performance of Dylan McDermott as Galifianakis’ evil campaign manager.  I don’t think of him as a comedic actor, but McDermott stole every frame he appeared in.

The ending was also unexpected.  And I will surprise you now by not giving it away, except to say —

Watch the credits.

Birds part deux

Four hundred years ago — okay, more like 12 — I attended a writing conference at Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod.

One of our assignments was to come up with a new scenario for a movie using only the items found in our hotel room as inspiration.

Now, my hotel was rather rustic (translation: cheap).  The wallpaper had tiny geese flying in vee’s across a yellow, late evening sky.  It was ugly, but I used it.

My idea:   What if two birdwatchers — one a noted expert, the other a novice — accidentally kill a rare bird that they are admiring?  Horrified, they try to cover up the accident in a variety of ways, all of which go terribly awry.

Hilarity ensues.

I pictured Dudley Moore as the lead. (It was 12 years ago.)  I thought it was a pretty funny idea, but maybe too niche-y for Hollywood.

I mean, who would do a movie about birdwatching?

Fast-forward to 2011.  Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are starring in the new movie The Big Year.  Take a look at the trailer:

What you can’t really tell from this clip is that these three men are avid birdwatchers…competing at a prestigious birdwatching event!

See?  Someone actually made a film about birdwatching, and even they think it’s too niche-y to use in the marketing.

I was so ahead of my time.