Tom Green is a comedian who likes to go around and pull pranks on everybody. Among his most famous is putting a cowhead in his parent's bed, suckling a cow's udder, throwing plastic babies ... See full summary »
Gordon, 28, an aspiring animator, leaves his home in Oregon to sell his ideas to Hollywood. After being told, correctly, that they are quite possibly the most stupid ideas ever and that he needs to spend time rethinking them, he moves back home. But his father, never a kind man, escalates his mean treatment of his rather unconventional son. Meanwhile, Gord has fallen for Betty, an attractive doctor at the hospital where his friend is staying; she happens to use a wheelchair, and to delight in having her paralyzed legs beaten with a bamboo cane; her sexual aggression intimidates him. Gord's family goes to a psychiatrist, and he lies to her that his father molests Gord's brother, Freddy; Gord neglects to mention that Freddy is 25. Soon, Gordon has the house to himself, and comes up with a winning animated series, "Zebras in America" based on his own family. All this is really a framework on which Tom Green hangs his usual crazy stunts. Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
Written by Eric B. (as Eric Barrier) and 'Rakim (I)' (as William Griffin)
Performed by Eric B. & Rakim (as Eric B & Rakim)
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
I'll bet that the majority of people who express their hatred this film on the grounds that it is too vulgar had a jolly time sitting through movies like American Pie, Scary Movie, and all that deplorable garbage.
Those films and their vulgarities were incredibly labored and insincere creations designed to pander to hateful stereotypes and equally petty repressed fears and desires of feeble-minded perverts and uneducated teenagers. However, though Freddy Got Fingered contains equal vulgarities, they exist not for their own sake but to serve a greater, dadaistic post-modern vision. This is evident in the structure of the film. Other "gross-out" comedies present their vulgarities with the sober convention, creating a pornographic aura that is shameful instead of funny. The lack of artistic direction in a sea of recycled inspiration never fails to create an uncomfortable confusion as to whether the vulgarities are serving the higher part of our minds that pertains to comedy or meant arouse a repressed sexual perversion (American Pie, for example).
Freddy Got Fingered separates itself from such worthless trash by breaking free from convention and re-appropriating it. Rather than cold and unflinching eye with which hacks such as the Wayans brothers present their vulgarities, Freddy Got Fingered uses innovative editing to de-familiarize the audience to whatever on screen, such as incorporating Sam Peckinpah's "pause-burst-pause" technique in the restaurant scene, or the revolutionary cut from the bleeding child (Tommy) to a closeup of roast beef at an all-American family dinner. It should be mentioned that while Freddy Got Fingered is discussed for it's vulgarities, it makes a point of balancing shock with classical comedic conventions: the majority of the gags in the film consist of non-sequiturs, slapstick, and satire (the main target being dramatic conventions in film, which is achieved through mixed-modalities rather than exploiting the ephemeral icons of pop-culture).
The film's brilliant re-invention of comic film-making technique creates an intellectual framework that invites an oppositional reading to some of the vulgar content on screen. Freddy got Fingered is not a simple presentation of vulgarities, but rather in dialogue with them. The running gag of a child being injured is clearly a parody of the increasing darkness of comedy, and yet it is simultaneously a manifesto, in Tom Green's post-structuralist shattering of our perceptions of taste. It is this self-reflexive nature of the film that transcends its vulgarity, while other "gross-out" films not only fail to do this, but often fall one step lower by depending on extra-textual sources (again, usual ephemeral pop-culture icons).
In conclusion, the equal magnitude of the vulgarities in relatively un-criticized movies such as American Pie and Scary Movie effectively invalidates the most critics' dismissal of the film on the grounds of excess vulgarity. The only difference between Freddy Got Fingered and its other "gross-out" counterparts is the film's original approach to film-making technique. However, I cannot imagine why this is more repugnant to them than the pornographic practice of using conventional film-making to enshrine vulgarities set before the camera (for example: even "Booty Call" has an orchestral score). Perhaps by being the first mainstream film to elevate the lucrative "gross-out" comedy beyond the reach of formulaic film-making, many perceive Freddy Got Fingered as a threat to the tradition, despite the fact that it has liberated conventional film-making techniques from being subjected to vulgar subject matter, saving both from demeaning each other. More likely is the possibility that the structure of Freddy Got Fingered is so foreign to film-goers weaned on convention that they cannot get themselves comfortable enough to laugh. If they are so accustomed to convention, then they are also desensitized to it, which explains why they cannot see its presence in other vulgar comedies, and hence their unsettling perversion. In any scenario, Freddy Got Fingered has failed to garner the praise it deserves because people just can't bring themselves to take this sophisticated social-commentary post-modern manifesto at anything but face value. And that is shameful.
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