May 3, 2009

I Thought It Was Gonna Be Funny But It's Really Just Sad


Observe and Report is an absolutely AMAZING movie.

The previews do this movie no justice and you expect it to be this kind of, well, Seth Rogen movie. Lovable, dopey guy getting into scraps delivering lines with that awkward wit or obviousness that seems to be the prevalent comedic style.

Yes, it has those parts, and they are about as funny as you would expect, but there's an gritty, dirty realist underbelly of this dirty movie that's just, man, it's beautiful.

There's the adage said by somebody, Woody Allen?, I don't know, but someone said tragedy plus timing equals comedy. And this movie plays with the idea of comedy and tragedy. The movie seems to be saying about the whole comedic situation, "No, this is actually quite tragic. Laugh if you want, man, because it is ridiculous and I won't judge if you laugh, but, come on, this shit is sad." And it's the only movie that I can think of that confronts that line between comedy and tragedy.

It would be like in Animal House if they explored the idea that, yeah, John Belushi's character is an alcoholic fuck-up and had him puking blood one morning. Or, in The Big Lebowski if you saw Walter suffer some real PTSD night-terror, just crying and screaming for his life. Observe and Report has that kind of an edge where you feel the reality of the problem of the a degree. This isn't The Wire: Comedy Special here, there are parts that don't sell this point I'm making...but there are two moments.

There's a scene that you've probably seen in the previews where Seth Rogen's character asks his mother was he the reason daddy left. The mom, unequivocally, says "Yes." Kind of funny, a little obvious I think, but it played sad. Yeah, it was a sad and true moment. The whole conversation that happens on screen has jokes in it, but I kept thinking just how fucking sad it was...and that it was fantastic.

Now, I'm not making muffins out of cow shit here. This was one of the legit points of the movie, and the film tells you it, straight out. Just like any good story, this movie tells you how to watch it.

Seth Rogen is visiting Ray Liotta. Liotta plays a detective that hates the Rogen character for reasons I won't spoil. Rogen is coming into Liotta's office to hear some news, and since it's bad news, Liotta stashes a fellow detective in the office closet to overhear the hilarity of breaking the bad news to Rogen. The sad news is delivered, and it just flattens Rogen. And it's not funny at all. The guy in the closet steps out and says, "I thought this was gonna be funny, but really it's just sad" and walks out of frame.

God, I just love this movie. I'm getting it on DVD. You all should, too. I'm going to seek out other Jody Hill movies, gonna Netflix Eastbound & Down that HBO Series he's working on...I was giddy walking out of the theater. That never happens. And, you know, I could have clapped at the end of that movie. That's right. It pert near brought me to applause. Anyway, yeah, go see it.

viva el mustache


Ande said...

I liked it a lot, too. I went to see it with Karli and her sister, and they didn't care for it as much, but I thought it was a damn good movie. There was a guy behind me, who was probably high, who liked it a little too much.

DeWolf said...

Sorry, Ande.