So, my quest for the perfect (or near-perfect) comedy continues with three more entries this week.
Well, no perfection this week, but my Blockbuster movies were an odd mix to begin.
First, I watched “Kung Fu Hustle,” and shortly after finishing it came to the conclusion that I don’t like kung fu movies. That being said, I can say ‘Hustle’ is a one-of-a-kind film; endlessly innovative battle sequences, dashes of humor and some decent characterization thrown in for good measure make for a good mix. It’s top notch filmmaking in a genre that I’m not familiar with, but I still don’t love it. End of the day, action movies, no matter how well done, just don’t do it for me. ‘Hustle,’ it’s not you, it’s me.
Then, I sat through a double-header of indie comedies.
“Wet Hot American Summer” is a hybrid movie that would have done better picking one side over the other. Essentially, it’s a movie about the last day of summer camp, set in 1981. Where the split comes in is that this film wants to both be a real summer camp movie and a parody of all those summer camp movies we’ve already seen and heard about. I’ll give the movie some points for subverting the standard horny-teenager-movie clichs, but still, it’s a strange and funny-bad experience, especially when you factor in all the genuinely funny and talented people involved in the movie in the first place. Next time around filmmakers, bear in mind that you can be satire or reality, but you can’t be both.
Next up was “Me and You and Everyone We Know,” a romantic comedy of sorts that’s less funny ha-ha and more funny weird, but in a surprisingly good and honest way.
Christine is a lonely performance artist who, in the course of her day job, stumbles upon another lonely soul, Richard, who’s more than a little off (in his first scene, he sets his hand on fire to purify/celebrate his separation from his wife) but a good guy nonetheless. She knows from the get-go that this is the man for her; he takes a bit longer to convince. She does all the wrong things, comes on way to strong, etc., but it’s love. What don’t you do for that?
This simple film, this wonder snuck up on me and made me love it (dammit) because it’s all about forming real, tactile connections with the people in your life. Soon, the film argues successfully, we’ll be too connected through the Internet to be able to touch each other. Call me a sucker if you must, but I fell for it, and for this charmer of a film.