Tim Lippe has no idea what he's in for when he's sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention, where he soon finds himself under the "guidance" of three convention veterans.
Quirky inter-related stories. Standing by two tablets, Jeff promises to introduce ten short stories, each about one of the commandments. A man survives a fall from a plane and his fiancée marries someone else before falling in love with a marionette; a surgeon causes the death of a patient and in prison tries to choose his mate; a woman encounters Jesus in Mexico and later confronts her husband on the Sabbath; twins and their mother reflect on fatherhood; covetous neighbors miss a chance to be heroes; and, between each story, Jeff's love triangle with Gretchen and Liz plays out. In the end, all the characters join in singing that it's all about love. Written by
Purchased at the Sundance Film Festival for $4.5 million by THINKFilm and City Lights Pictures. See more »
I'm sorry, I had to go, okay?
Because I have to introduce the ten stories. I told this this before, we'll talk about this when I get home, alright? I'm late enough as it is.
"The Ten Commandments" ten stories, alright? You knew about this when you married me, this is what I do.
Hello? Hello? Unbelievable.
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Okay, David Wain's "The Ten" isn't attempting to redefine the genre of sketch comedy or satire, nor does it pass judgement on the religious iconography it uses as a template. It merely cheekily plays with the idea of the commandments in a smutty and more often than not, unique way. What I think the strongest part of this film is, is its pre-occupation with the perverse and how one can play that out on screen. The repetition of the Spanish word for vagina, Winona Ryder's hysterical relationship with that dummy, Oliver Platt's "Arnie" impression, Liev Schreiber's cat scan machines and the untimely death of hundreds of children, are all irreverent and interesting approaches to the lessons or moral codes of the ten commandments. Whilst some are better executed than others, I particularly appreciated the astute connection between the "Adultery" segment and Woody Allen's films. The use of the stamp jazz soundtrack as the camera moves down a busy New York street, the inclusion of Dianne Weist as a needy wife, and the self-indulgence of our two infidels all really hit the mark. Even their dialogue seems to be mocking Allen's neurotic adulterous characters. Which, as a Woody Allen fan, I really got into.
If for anything else, one should give "The Ten" a go for its wonderful utilisation of well- known actors for comedy. They seem to really be holding absolutely nothing back, and that is actually a thrilling experience to watch. Particularly the work of Winona Ryder, whose drive off into the sunset with no hands on her steering wheel, crying and laughing like a lunatic whilst sitting next to her lover, a wooden dummy, got me so giggly I couldn't breathe.
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