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In this comedy directed by Chris D'Arienzo based on the novel Life is a
Strange Place by Frank Turner Hollon, Patrick Wilson plays Barry
Munday, a suburban wanna-be ladies man, who makes up in the hospital
with both of his testicles gone after being attacked in a movie theater
for hitting on the wrong girl. To make matters worse, a paternity
lawsuit is filed by a woman he can't remember having sex with.
Realizing this being his last chance to ever be a father, Barry decides
to take on the responsibility on being a good father.
My initial impression of the concept of this film was that this film could either be a feminist revenge fantasy or a raunchy comedy. Thankfully, this film was neither of those, but turned out to be a surprisingly poignant little comedy, with a honest, introspective look at what being a man entails beyond having the body parts, if you will. Given it's a comedy, there were many predictable directions this film could have taken at the expense of Patrick Wilson's character, Barry. Surprisingly, the film avoids the obvious and portrays Barry in a sympathetic and real way. Barry starts off as an irresponsible loafer, whose main interest involve bedding women, who soon after loses his most prized asset and what he feels makes him a man. He goes through a slump until he finds out that someone may actually be carrying his child (from a previous fling he had no recollection of). In a sense, he realizes being a father may be the only thing left that connects him to his manhood.
Barry meets the mother of the child, Ginger Farley (Judy Greer), who isn't particularly a looker, to put it nicely. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Farley, as played by Cybill Shepherd and Malcolm McDowell, seem to agree that Ginger hadn't quite lived up to their expectations, in beauty and otherwise, unlike their model daughter, Jennifer (Chloë Sevigny). There's noticeably a bit of a sibling rivalry between Ginger and Jennifer. As we get to know the characters, we see personal baggage behind both Ginger and Barry which perhaps contributed much in how they viewed themselves and their lifestyle. With Ginger full of bitterness and resentment toward Barry, the relationship between Barry and Ginger is often awkward and comic as Barry is honestly trying to know her better for the first time. Advertisement
Patrick Wilson (Watchmen) is close to perfect in the role of Barry, where he deftly milks the comic aspects of his shallow character as well as his eventual change to a deeper, sympathetic, and more serious side. Judy Greer plays the awkward Ginger Farley with caustic wit and consistency. Cybill Shepherd and Malcolm McDowell in their supporting roles as Ginger's parents, the Farleys, turn in expectedly seasoned performances. Bill Dee Williams (do I even have to mention Empire Strikes Back?) is his usual charming self as Barry's Delorean-driving boss, who happens to be close to the Farleys. Jean Smart is great as the blunt, yet sharp-minded, Carol Munday, Barry's mother.
This independent film marks Chris D' Arienzo's directorial debut and it is a strong one. The comedy feels natural because it's fairly close to life for the most part. The emotions of the characters feel genuine. It is unexpectedly touching. Patrick Wilson does great work in his role as the titular character. It's not what I would call a laugh-a-minute comedy, but a deeper, thoughtful film that happens to have much comedyusually the type of films I gravitate toward. This film left me with some thoughts long afterwards, which says a lot about a comedy, let alone any film.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A Man might argue a story about losing testicles would induce a cringe
and protective leg-crossing. However, it's not testicles that make a
Man, it's responsibility and maturity. And therein lies the core of
this tale; balls, it turns out, are not balls.
Barry Munday is a dim bulb, breast-obsessed horndog searching for gratification at every possible turn. One drunken night he impregnates a mousy, bitter woman... and completely forgets until the (celibate?) woman's lawyer delivers a paternity demand. In the interim, an angry father has de-testiclized him with a trumpet. The end of the Munday lineage?
The comedy is quite subtle and placed squarely on the shoulders of the stellar cast. Supporting standouts are Jean Smart who genuinely shines and a number of oddballs, including every member (pun intentional) of a genital mutilation support group. Sadly, Cybil Shepherd and Malcolm McDowell are nearly non-entities. Chloe Sevigny (the woman's sister) has a great turn as the family favorite, stripper, female horndog equivalent to Barry.
This film belongs to Patrick Wilson, but particularly Judy Greer. In other films her edgy sidekick has been one-note abrasive. Here, in a tour-de-force, she juggles that same edge, bitterness, sexiness without sex appeal and near naked vulnerability. Her performance is an eye opener. Judy Greer fans (I was not really one of them) will rejoice.
If a laugh riot filled with obvious penis jokes is your bag (pun again intentional) you will be disappointed. The production designer clutters the background with quite funny visual clues underscoring the issue at hand (and again intentional). For example, hanging in the office of Barry's boss is an antique graphic with large text reading 'Seamen'.
Then there's Judy Greer's weird, mysterious, Japanese male neighbor. Despite Ms. Greer's protestations she's a virgin (before Mr. Munday), is the neighbor truly the father?
Great comedy creates a tapestry of the human condition between the laughs. "Barry Munday" delivers in spades. While not earth-shattering, the revelations - sibling rivalry, emotional and physical abandonment, true sadness, ego gratification, family denial at any cost, irresponsibility - in this comedic (left-handed) spin of "Taming of the Shrew" presents a beautifully crafted arc for the two main, emotionally damaged characters.
With multiple layers, smart writing, fine acting and terrific direction, "Barry Munday" is a wholly satisfying comedy light on the didactic, heavy on the weird, right on target overall.
After a horrible incident at a movie theatre, Barry Munday wakes up in
a hospital without his testicles. To make matters worse, a lawyer
informs him that a woman claims he is the father of her unborn child.
The concept of the film makes it seem like it's going to be a lot more cruder than it actually is. Barry Munday turns out to be a rather mature film that has immature bits of comedy, which makes it come of as a sweet film with real issues it wants to discuss. Munday looses what many think is a man's manhood, but in reality, it took him losing his testicles to truly become a man. Based on the book Life is a Strange Place, Barry Munday is surprisingly delightful.
Patrick Wilson is perfectly cast as Munday, he nails the character in a role that demands him to be a womanizer, dumb, sweet, innocent and likable. Wilson gives us these little moments where the character will do something, when he isn't the main focus of the scene and it adds more depth to an already well written character. Judy Greer plays Ginger as the family outsider who is difficult to deal with. She comes off a a mature 12 year old. Her parents are played by seasoned actors Cybill Shepherd and Malcolm McDowell, both small roles but they do leave an impression. Jean Smart is the more memorable parent, she plays Carol Munday, Barry's mother. Do I even need to mention Lando Calrissian and the fact that he drives a DeLorean?
There are moments are pure hilarity, like when Munday accidentally calls out his child's name during sex, but there are moments of charm and delight, like the expression on his face when the child is born. His eagerness to be a part of the child's life is admirable, he's lost the one thing that will give him a child and now he discovers that he is possibly the father of one? That's enough of a sign for him to want to be a father that he accepts it without having a paternity test. But then the question arises, is he really the father?
Barry Munday is not a flat out comedy, it's more character driven. Munday, played excellently by Wilson, is a character that sells the film. If you can't connect to him, the movie might falls apart for you. I thought Wilson did an excellent job in this role and it's my favourite performance from him thus far.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I sought out this movie for one reason, it has Marc Tubert in a brief
role as a maternity doctor. I met Marc last month as we walked the
fairways of the Texas A&M golf course, watching his daughter and other
University of Arkansas golfers contend for the NCAA championships. He
is a very nice guy, and after meeting him there, it was fun to see him
in a movie role!
I like Patrick Wilson, he is a very talented singer and an actor able to tackle a variety of roles. Here he is simpleton and slacker Barry Munday, seemingly spending all of his waking energy minimizing the amount of work he actually does, while chasing "tail" at every opportunity. One fateful day he meets a randy young lady, well actually a teenage girl, and they end up in the movie theater together. When the girl's father shows up, with a trumpet in his hand, and assaults Barry to protect his daughter.
Barry wakes up in the clinic, not certain at all what happened to him. He soon is told that he lost his testicles, both of them were damaged during the attack and could not be saved.
Barry is coping as well as he can in succeeding days, when he gets word that Judy Greer as Ginger Farley is pregnant, and Barry is the father. He asks "how sure are you that I am the father?" She is sure, she was a virgin before she met him, and he is the only one she had been with.
Wilson and Greer are remarkably good in this different kind of romantic comedy. This premise could have gone into the slapstick gutter very quickly, but it didn't because of an intelligent script. For the first time in his adult life Barry had something to care about, and for the first time in her adult life Ginger found someone who seemed to genuinely care about her.
We enjoyed it.
SPOILERS: Barry and Ginger grow on each other, he is there for childbirth, it appears that they are becoming a close-knit family as their child begins to grow up.
"Barry Munday" is the type of comedy that will give you a certain inner
warmth, but not necessarily make you laugh out loud. And in a way it is
nice with a comedy like that, but I was missing on more funny moments
throughout the movie. It is the sort of movie that makes you appreciate
life and all its unpredictable moments.
The cast in "Barry Munday" is quite good. And I must say that the movie is carried by Patrick Wilson (playing Barry Munday) as a very kind, good-hearted and lovable person. And there were also some pretty good names on the supporting roles list, such as Malcolm McDonald, Billy Dee Williams, Cybill Shepherd and Colin Hanks.
I found the movie to be surprising in the way that it shows that despite life throws you a curve ball, you can still manage to make something good out of the situation you are in. Keep your head up high and be positive, and that is a good morale for the movie.
The story is nicely acted out on the screen and you want to see what happens next. Sure the story is not a fast-paced one, but it gets you to where it needs to be in its own manner and pace.
However, if you are planning a night of fun and laughter, "Barry Munday" might not be the best of choices. That being said, this is not a bad movie at all. It is nice in its own way. "Barry Munday" is a movie that should be watched by all who appreciate life and the joy of living.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Patrick Wilson, who has made a name for himself starring in films in
which he is literally or symbolically castrated and/or left impotent
("Hard Candy", "Little Children", "Lakeview Terrace", "Watchmen"),
stars in "Barry Munday", a film in which he finally fully loses his
Wilson plays Barry Munday, a serial womaniser who unfortunately suffers a vicious attack in which his manhood is mauled. The rest of the film finds him struggling to woo a dorky woman whom he impregnated before his crotch luggage went AWOL. She hates him because she rightfully views Barry as a lazy, filthy oaf. He loves her because, now emasculated, she's the only woman who can bear him a child. It's a good idea for a comedy, but director Chris D'Arienzo struggles with his jokes, and the film's quirkiness is strained, forced and second-hand.
Interestingly, the film suggests that the only thing keeping men from domestication (and monogamy) is the phallus. Remove the penis and the philanderer dies, shifting from a conqueror to a feminized male desperate for any woman he can get. In the western world, men are themselves slowly becoming "feminized". Some gender theorists deem this as being beneficial, as it prevents the resuscitation of stable gender orders (gender is a social construct). Others insist that "masculinity" isn't dying; today it simply "violates" you with perfume on, or even worse, via the invisible currents of binary transactions. The film goes into dark, interesting territory during its second half, but D'Arienzo's script isn't smart enough to do anything with the material. It's "Knocked Up" for the indie crowd.
7.9/10 Worth one viewing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Barry Munday cannot pass an opportunity in which to have sex with any
women that strike his fancy. Barry is an insurance salesman whose work
is a sort of an afterthought. He and Donald, his partying friend, are
always chasing women they can have an easy time with. Most of the time
he scores, so when he spots a shapely young woman going into a
multiplex movie complex, he decides to follow her. She wants to sit on
a specific location. As Barry starts getting frisky with the woman, a
man coming out of nowhere holding a trumpet, attacks him viciously.
Next thing we see is Barry Mundy in a hospital room. He wakes up to
terrible news, because of the attack, he has lost his testicles!
As if that was not enough, Barry Munday gets hit with another setback: a paternity suit from Ginger, a woman claiming they engaged in unprotected sex, and now she finds herself pregnant. Barry comes from a background where his own father abandoned his mother and himself, at an early age. As much as he tries, Barry cannot, however much he tries, to recollect his time in the sack with Ginger. So Barry goes along, albeit reluctantly trying to make good about something he does not even remembering doing.
The months preceding the baby's birth are not happy for Barry. To make matters worse, Ginger is the antithesis of the woman he went after. On top of that, she makes it clear, all she wants is a father for her baby, nothing more. With his new handicap, Barry has to face a future that is not too bright, but with the help of his single-mother he confronts the situation head on. Ginger, on the other hand, gives no hint as to how they met since Barry does not remember their time together.
An interesting premise by Chris D'Arienzo, who is making his screen debut. He also contributed to the screenplay which is based on a novel by Frank Turner Hollon, which we never read. The material is fresh, although the director makes Ginger to be someone hard to love by anyone. The idea of a man castrated because he messes with someone else's lover is not exactly new, but as written, one feels for what life had dealt Barry, despite his womanizing and wild days. The comedy involves the families of Barry and Ginger who can do crazy things when they are together. Then, there is also the question of the Asian neighbor who might, or might not have been involved with the plain Ginger, something that is not explored by Barry.
Patrick Wilson is a fine actor who gets better with each new appearance. His life as a Lothario dominates the first portion of the movie. Barry had a way with the ladies. Judy Greer has been kept busy lately. She deserves all the work she gets for she is an actress that even in the tacky outfits she is made to wear, always delivers. The only thing that does not work is the character of Jennifer, Ginger's sister, who does not seem real, and as played by Chloe Sevigny, she is an obnoxious presence in the film. Jean Marsh is wonderful as Barry's mother. Others in supporting roles include Malcom McDowell, Cybill Shepherd, and the suave Billy Dee Williams playing Barry's boss.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is so off Hollywood that most stores don't carry it. I sought it out because it gives a rare starring role to Patrick Wilson, a talented and amazingly handsome character actor. He has been my idol since I saw his co-star turn in Little Children, and if you like him you will want to check him out. Even with his looks muted by bad hair and a ridiculous goatee, he is a pleasure to watch. Barry Munday works better as a romance than a comedy, and better as a character study than either. Munday is a recognizable caricature of American men as seen by a resentful feminist like his co-protagonist Ginger Farley (Judy Greer). Much of the movie is amusing, but it is rarely LOL funny. Munday starts out the film as an unambitious schlub whose only genuine interest is chasing skirts. The father of one of his amours follows him into a theater and smashes his testicles with a trumpet, so that they have to be removed. Just as he recovers, Ginger, one of his last hookups, claims to be pregnant with his child. At first coldly contemptuous of Barry, she gradually warms to him, even as he grows to become a loving husband and father. Aware that he can have no other children, Barry uneasily bypasses several hints that he is not the real father. The first time I saw this, I was disappointed that Barry seems to react to his "accident" as if he lost an IRS refund check. But instead of becoming angry, Munday even more uncentered than he was before and uses different approaches to acting like an adult. Toward the end, as Barry and Ginger come to a mutually supportive relationship, he literally finds his voice and his face just glows. The movie is not entirely clear where Barry and Ginger wind up, however. It is clear that Ginger and Barry come to love one another. But their scene in bed ends in an unsatisfactory way, she doesn't marry him, and she doesn't give the daughter his name, even though he badly wants her to. At the end, we are told rather than shown that Barry, Ginger, and their respective families are happy. Greer appropriately repellent at the outset and handles her transformation convincingly. The supporting cast does well, especially Jean Smart as Barry's mother.
As others have testified, Patrick Wilson's Barry is treated like the worst human alive for reasons not made clear...enough. He's a womanizer? Yeah, and all the women he bedded WANTED it at the time, including Judy Greer's Ginger. I got so sick of her constant berating that I had to yell some unspeakable words at the screen. Sorry, Ginger, but you had it comin'! What makes it all bearable is Wilson's good-ole-guy Barry, almost innocent in his train-wreck approach to women. He seems so sweet and puppy dog up against all the arseholes who use him to channel their inner hatreds against. And Ginger eventually softens up and owns up to her fault and has a pretty good line about the blessings of ugliness. Good enough all around to watch instantly if you have Netflix.
The idea itself is absolutely unique and to be honest till near the end
of the movie i thought (like most of who watched it) that she was
faking the story and Burry didn't do it!!
She came to him after he became desperate for removing his testis, she came in that ugly looks and was blaming and swearing and he didn't push it back at all. And as he told her later on while they were in his car that she appeared now to (redirect) him!
He believed that she became pregnant from him however he didn't remember a thing at all of that night.
The main idea is never to give up and to see the good things in everything.
Way to go! I love it
Thank you very much Cheers
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