Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

Flodder was never considered to be a good movie, but it is the most successful Dutch movie from the eighties and – like it or not – a classic in Dutch cinema.

So, when the movie is on, you watch it again. It’s as simple as that. And you rate it **, just out of nostalgia to Huub Stapel’s red jacket or Tatjana Simic’s boobs…

Not having seen the movie in 30 years, it leaves you wondering why the jacket and the breasts were so memorable and not the surprising amount of action scenes or the obvious critique to a hypocrite society, in which the rich and the marginalized families clash and mingle. The answer is a simple: any kid watching this comedy in 1986

only did so because of the bad ass attitude of the family Flodder and the many scenes with female nudity.

As an adult you watch the movie differently. The action scenes are well done for an eighties movie from the Low Countries. The critique is on point at times. The bomber jacket is still cool. But the depiction of Simic’s character would never make the cut in a 2020 version and is quite offensive to any woman. She has sex with her half-brother. She enjoys being raped by the neighbor. She doesn’t mind having men queue up to have sex with her (and have her younger brother collect the money). It’s a bit too much. Especially since she has hardly any lines to say.

Apart from that, society hasn’t changed much.

The 11 year old kid of a friend of mine named the movie old fashioned. 

www.imdb.com/title/tt0091060/

 

 

 

Originally planned to be released just before this year’s cancelled Eurovision festival, the Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams parody gets a new chance on Netflix. It’s a bit of a surprise though. The Eurovision craze only unites Europe for just a few days mid-May and then isn’t really on anyone’s radar for the next 51 weeks. But hey, it’s a weird year, so the summer holidays may start with a weird comedy as well.

The comedy isn’t that weird though. It’s very Eurovision. If it would be a real parody, there would be more sarcasm. Now it’s just a competition making fun of itself. And its fans. And its contestants.

Will Ferrell isn’t all that annoying as an Icelandic artist, whose dream it has been to win the Eurovision songfestival ever since he saw Abba perform Waterloo in 1974. Rachel Adams is his childhood friend who sings in his band and follows his dream because she’s in love with him.

It’s a silly movie. But it somehow works. Especially if you know the contest. There are a lot of references to certain aspects of the show that come back every year. The diss at the UK for never getting any points. The diss at the Russian gay singer who is convinced he is not gay, because he is Russian. The neighboring countries voting for each other. Several ex-performers/winners appear in the movie. The new songs you hear all sound like they could be actual songs from the contest. Even the performances. Honestly, there are a lot of fun references in this movie.

The irony is that Iceland would have won this year’s contest if it would have taken place. So it totally makes sense the story takes place in Iceland. It’s a quirky island with quirky people who are an easy target for a quirky movie.

It’s a very simplistic romantic and musical comedy. Just what we need.

www.imdb.com/title/tt85802

Netflix high school comedy dramas. They make them by the dozens. Here’s yet another one. Told from the perspective of an all American teenage girl with Indian roots.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a great lead. You just wish her lines were more sassy and sarcastic. She’s the kind of actress who can play a likable bitch. Now she’s a likable… nerd.

The rest of the cast acts like they’ve never been in front of the camera before. But here again, the characters are annoying and boring and just not intriguing at all, so let’s blame the directing and writing team.

Really. It’s a show about a girl who lost her dad, is stuck with her conservative mother, feels very American, but is forced to connect with her roots, falls for the popular jock, neglects her best (and only) friends and can’t seem to find a balance between trying to popular and being the smartest kid in class.

Yawn.

www.imdb.com/title/tt10062292

Picked up Modern Family again. Last time I saw a season was in 2014 !

Great guilty pleasure ! For every ‘meh’ moment, there are twice as many ‘haha’ moments.

Season 3 (**1/2)  isn’t as good as season 2, but each episode has enough laughs to make you continue watching. The episode in Disneyland is excellent though. with some hilarious scenes like the one where Dylan, dressed as Little John, tries to win back Haley. Classic! What’s really good about this show is that there is consistency. If you watch them in a row, you notice how some things get picked up again later in the show and references are made to what has happened before. This is not always the case in other sitcoms like Friends or Fresh Prince, in which there are a lot of inconsistencies. Phil and Luke’s relationship is great. Haley is pretty funny this season. Cameron and Mitchel are, well, a bickering couple that still have some great punch lines. Sophia is still great.

Season 4 (**1/2) is a tougher cookie. Not all episodes are great. Some get boring. Some characters get so annoying you just want to give up. But there are great guest acting parts that make it interesting. The stereotypical portrayal of a gay couple and a latino trophy wife is just nerve-racking. How many jokes can you make about a Columbian drugs & poverty escaping woman and camp effeminate gay men? It’s just always the same. Yawn.  However, some of the best scenes of the season feature Cameron/Mitchel and Sophia. (the heritage dinner discussion) And Cameron dressed like a character of Cats up on the tree is a classic. Every episode still makes you laugh at least a few times though.

Season 5 (**1/2) starts off really well, with some of the best episodes of the series. New characters get introduced and some reoccur more than before. It’s really strange how the show is pretty conservative. It’s representing a certain suburban upper middle class that isn’t really representative of real modern families out there. And the stereotypes! Even when they travel to Australia, they are able to only show stereotypes. Yet, Cameron is the football coach. Surprise. Not all episodes are good, but it ends with a great one (the wedding).

Just when you think season 6 (**1/2) isn’t all that exciting or funny anymore, there’s the episode where everyone thinks Haley got married in Vegas. Original and excellent. And the second half of the season has more real good episodes. Some characters seem to have lost their appeal though (Sophia!). And none of the new ones are great, apart from Andy maybe. But others are still awesome. Phil on top. The jokes and comments are quite sarcastic for a sitcom. In then years’ time a new generation will call them homophobic, racist and sexist. Like this generation is offended by some jokes in Friends (Friends!!). A friend who doesn’t know the show asked if it was Married With Children. 2.0. No.  It’s not that politically incorrect.

Three episodes into season 7 and I haven’t laughed yet. What’s wrong?

 

Marley And Me – *

Posted: June 6, 2020 in 2008, romcom, USA, X

Friends got a dog and named it Marley, because of the movie with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston. 

It was on tonight and I started to watch it. Moreover, I even finished it! A romcom with Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson and an obnoxious dog!

I get the appeal of the movie for dog owners and lovers. And I guess the dog isn’t really that obnoxious, just very affectionate and active if you want to use euphemisms. So, I kinda understand why  would call your active and affectionate puppy Marley.

A couple meet, get married and get a dog. They’re not really good at controlling their dog’s behavior and just let him be whoever he wants to be. Then they get kids. The couple start arguing. They move. Twice. Then the dog dies. The end.

It’s not really a bad movie. It’s just pretty bland. As soon as the end credits roll you want to watch something else. In fact, the two commercials following the movie also featured a couple and a dog. And pretty much left me with the same feeling.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0822832

Back when I turned 15 or so, I got triggered to learning what else was offered in pop culture. I started to listen to more alternative music and I started to go see movies at the arthouse cinema. Some of these movies left a big impression on me. A lot didn’t. But one of them that did, was Do The Right Thing. 

They just showed it on tv and it left an almost exact same impression. Thirty years later. Thirty years older. And having experienced staying in Brooklyn and living in an area with racial tensions.

Amazing.

This movie starts off as a comical and badly acted series of everyday scenes. But gets really dramatic by the end. It’s a great build-up. Some scenes are such classics that you remember them instantly, even though you haven’t seen them for 30 years! It’s a clever thing to tell a story with several individual characters on a very small surface: a particular block of houses in Bedford Stuyvesant. The storytelling is excellent and the way it’s filmed is unique. The constant use of Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’ and the constant yelling from almost all of the characters create a tension that you know will explode. But yet, it’s a very colorful and bright movie with lots of comic relief.

Sadly enough, the movie is still up to date. A remake would maybe look different and nobody walks around with ghetto blasters anymore, which is -well – almost like a character on its own in this movie. Not sure how they would replace that. But still, the idea of gentrification still happens. The racial tensions are still there. Maybe Spike Lee should make a new Netflix series about it, like he did with She Gotta Have it. Or maybe not.

Anyways, if you’ve never seen the movie: watch it! It’s not perfect, but it’s a classic.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0097216

 

 

 

Demain Tout Commence

Posted: April 10, 2020 in 2016, Dramedy, France

This is a bad movie.

The story is ridiculous. The jokes aren’t funny. The characters are unappealing. It’s a waste of time and talent.

A playboy receives a visit from one of this many girlfriends. She shows him his daughter, hands her over to him and leaves. In a search to find out where she lives he arrives in London, where he stays until his kids is about 7 or so and the mom suddenly turns up.

Nah. Skip it.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5078204

Season 2 is fun. Some episodes are excellent. Great comfort tv in corona times. The interaction between Will and Carlton is the best. Geoffrey has good one-liners. Uncle Phil is pretty funny in all his seriousness. Hilary can be hilarious. And the rare moments you see Jazz, he’s great. A lot of new characters are introduced, especially the expanded family of Vivian. But none of them are really great. Neither is Vivian for that matter. Not all episodes are great though. And even though it’s not too outdated, there are way too many early nineties US politics related references.

Four episodes into Season 3 and I’ve only laughed a few times with Hilary and that’s about it. Hm. Should I continue?

Modo Avião – *(*)

Posted: March 14, 2020 in 2020, Brasil, Comedy, X1/2

Ana is as smartphone addicted influencer who is working for a fashion company that uses her instagram profile to sell their items. The girl is so obsessed about social media that she’s constantly on her phone and causes many accidents with her car. After one of them is almost fatal, her mother arranges her to go stay with her grandpa in rural mountainous inland Brazil. Where there is no wifi.

The synopsis is okay. The start is kinda fun. Mocking the social media and the fashion world. And when the movie takes you to the beautiful Mantigueira Mountains you want to buy a plane ticket to Sao Paulo, rent a car and drive up to Belo Horizonte via the mountain road. The setting is gorgeous. And Sao Paulo looks fabulous as well. Larissa Manoela is doing a fine job as the main lead and it also features Fica Tudo Bem, the most catchy Brazilian indie pop songs of recent years.

But in the end, it’s a silly romcom that has little to no romance, but a fair amount of gentle humor. It’s for teenagers. Or for those who want to watch something that is so far away from the current news stories that it’s a relief.

www.imdb.com/title/tt10731748/

Minha Vida Em Marte – (*)

Posted: February 19, 2020 in 1/2, 2018, Brasil, Comedy

Brazilian comedies. Sigh.

Fernanda has a midlife crises when she doesn’t feel attracted to her husband anymore. First she tries to get back her sexual apetite, but when she learns that her husband cheats on her, a divorce is waiting to happen and she needs to get back on track with her life.

She is not alone to go through all these stages. No… she has a gay best friend who ‘supports’ her.

And we see her with the gay best friend in almost every single scene, traveling to all sorts of places and talking nonsense all the time. 

It is terrible….

The gay best friend in Brazilian comedies is always extravagant, single and very effeminate. It is annoying….

But the main problem is that nothing happens. It is a series of very superficial and unfunny conversations between two loud Brazilians.

Brazilian comedies. Sigh.

www.imdb.com/title/tt8619812