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All Barry Singer wants, "is a woman to like him for who he pretends to be," ...or so he says in his act. A stand up comedian toiling in the netherworld of the L.A. comedy scene, Barry's universe is turned upside down when he meets Thea Douglas, a young political activist who is clearly in the "spiritual quest mode." Together, they throw into a comic dance of high intimacy where for the first time in their lives the physical and emotional come together. When their relationship hits the rocks, Thea is swept into the whirlpool of the '92 political season and hits the road with the Jerry Brown presidential campaign. All this leads Barry to one certainty; he has no choice but to take off cross country in pursuit of his "souler opposite." Written by
Story of Barry, a middle-age, loser, want-a-be comedian who has issues with women, and Theo, a young, pottery, poetry, political activist who says she is emotionally unavailable.
Barry is rude, crude, and offensive to women both in his act and in his life. Barry's comedy act is so bad he can no longer get jobs on the L.A. comedy circuit.
One night, after getting beat up by a couple who found his comedy offensive, Barry meets Thea who was waitressing at the comedy club that evening and comes to his aid after he is knocked down. Unbelievably she finds him funny even though her friends tell her he is offensive to women and most people watching the movie would tell her the same thing.
Barry attempts to use humor in every part of his life to cover his insecurities. He also justifies his behavior to being deflowered by a prostitute his father hired for him on his 16th birthday. Apparently his humor is suppose to be like Woody Allen's humor. A New York style though Barry is in L.A. It fails miserably and Woody Allen should sue.
This probably the first time Barry was laid since he was 16. Of course he wants a relationship which she is ambivalent about. Thea apparently only wants him as a friend with "benefits". That's what she says! The rest of the movie is them trying to figure out their relationship and if they want one together. Well... not that interesting as I didn't want to continue describing the "boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy wants, needs, girl again" play-by-play.
Also in the movie is Barry's best friend with his marital situation, Barry's struggle on the comedy club scene and rivals, and talk of lesbians and their secret society and tattoos. Trust me.. it's not interesting.
After some talk about Thea being involved with women's issues in the first half of the movie, the second half of the movie has Thea become a political campaign worker for Jerry Brown for president in 1992, then shows footage from the Clintons' campaign. This campaign work serves as an impediment to their relationship, introduces a rival for Thea's affections, and also means to show the "good guys" as being Democrats and slip in a comment about Republicans. Then it is back to "let's have a relationship?"
Barry's character is so repulsive and offensive towards women that even when they soften him later and try to make him more sympathetic and a worthy romantic person for Thea, he still is identified as repulsive in most viewer's mind. The movie's writer did too good of a job making Barry offensive. I haven't seen the actor playing Barry in other roles so I am not sure if he has a natural knack at being offensive or is a really good actor. I see IMDb has him listed for the movie "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" so he must have an affinity for this type of role.
I wouldn't want to meet any of the movie's characters in real life and I am sorry I wasted 1 hr 44 minutes on this film. I had to keep watching to see how in the world they would turn Barry from offensive to sympathetic. The answer: Barry went from being offensive to pathetic. That is how the movie tried to make Barry sympathetic. Now the question is.. do women like pathetic guys as much as they like offensive jerks?
Oh yeah... lastly - how could I forget?! - mocking. Mocking is a theme as Thea feels Barry mocks her and he assures her he is not. He is just trying to be funny.
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