21 And Over

Awww… The Little Asian Dude can’t handle his booze. That’s totes adorbs, as the kids these days would say.

One of the worst things that could’ve happened to the gross out genre was Judd Apatow. I fucking love the dude but his brand of soulful dick jokes are almost impossible to emulate, and now every comedy fails to rip him off correctly. Sometimes a film doesn’t need to have any deep meaning or emotional fallout. Sometimes, especially when you’re making a comedy, narrative takes a backseat to jokes. And that’s ok. That’s fine. One of the worst sins a film can commit is failing to understand its purpose. 21 And Over does not know what it wants to be. At. All.

It’s about these kids who like to drink. Sweet, I love movie’s about inebriation. Rock on, rock on, son. But shit goes wrong when one of them goes missing. Thus begins a night of debauchery that involves guns, lesbianism, and buffaloes.

It’s mildly adorable to see these idiots act like full grown drinking men. They have a good rapport. And the energy is fast and fun. I really should have loved this film but it stumbled around the finish line.

First, not all of the jokes hit home. But at least they’re making them. They’re trying to make me laugh for fuck sake. And sometimes the situations are a little too manufactured but, again, you can see them try. A movie always gets points for trying with me. Then it tries to add some heart. Shit just falls apart.

These kids aren’t compelling enough to care about their issues. I don’t give a fuck if one dropped out of college, or another doesn’t want to be a doctor. Fuck you, dude. Make me laugh. You’re my damn jester and the second you get serious I get bored. Unless you write characters that I can actually root for. Otherwise I’ll just want to smash something.

21 And Over isn’t a complete shit storm. It’s funny and brisk but doesn’t understand how shallow it is. There’s nothing wrong with shallow. I’m shallow. I fuck shallow. Just make me laugh and we’ll be golden.

Grade: B-

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This Is 40

I’ve caught many an STD in my time but, thankfully, I’ve never had Starfish Junk.

I once sat in front of Judd Apatow during a screening of Step Brothers. It ruined the entire experience. It was Judd Apatow!!! In front of me!!! Who gives a shit what happened during in Step Brothers? I’ve been following this dude since Freaks and Geeks was still airing new episodes. I used to make everyone on my dorm floor watch Undeclared every week. He made a living off of dick a fart jokes. Of course I look up to the man. The dude rules!!! So I spent the entire film watching him, stalking him, catching the jokes that made him laugh out loud. It was magnificent.

Then after I went up to him, ready to gush my manly stone cold heart out. I was gonna be like, “Dude, bro, I fucking loved Freaks And Geeks.” Or, “40 Year Old Virgin gave me a laughter boner, bro.” Instead, hands trembling, I barely whispered, “I really like your films.” I was a pussy. I thought that that man was a God to me back then. This was, of course, before Funny People. And, now, This Is 40 proves that Apatow is only a man.

This Is 40 stars most of the people from Knocked Up. Hell, it stars most of the people in every Apatow movie ever made. The dude sticks with his buddies. It’s supposed to be a slice of life look at marriage. And I guess it is. There’s a lot of fights and shit. But it is unfocused, which makes it a pretty bumpy ride.

If you don’t look at the whole, how fucking blindingly unfocused the film is, each section is pretty damn funny. Don’t worry about that, bro. You will laugh. It’s inevitable with Apatow. The guy gets funny.

Some acts are even sad, like the scene where the married people have a knock down drag out fight in their bedroom that proves the chops of everyone involved. The acting is tight. The scene is focused. And the writing is relatable and real. It makes you with the entire film could be that rad.

But then it veers off and wastes time on subplots that don’t work, or jokes that misfire. And, before you know it, it’s been over two hours. Then you get all bummed and are like, “DudeApatowBro, get to the fucking point!!!!”

It’s a shame too. Everything about this should have been Apatow’s strongest work. He’s writing about something he’s intimate with. He’s got a top notch cast. The characters are likable. Jokes are absolutely there. This film shouldn’t suck as much as it does. But Apatow’s gotta learn a thing or two about pacing if he wants to hang onto his comedic crown.

Grade: B-