Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.
Former musician Frankie Wilde is a legend within the Ibiza club scene for being the most inspired DJ around. On top of that, he has a beautiful model wife named Sonja Slowinski, although ... See full summary »
Devastated Peter takes a Hawaii vacation in order to deal with recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah. Little does he know Sarah's traveling to the same resort as her ex ... and she's bringing along her new boyfriend.
Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by ... See full summary »
You might be expecting a brainless romp to divert your mind for a few hours. And based on some of the IMDb reviews, you might be expecting a particularly bad one.
However, there's a lot going on in this film which may not be obvious at first, and if you key in on it I think you'll have a great time. This is not a standard plot-based comedy. The plot is pretty basic: a 26-year-old high school has-been (Schwartzman) wants to redeem himself for his colossal bomb in a school musical 8 years earlier. So what's the big deal?
The big deal is that the character is a lot more complex than your standard brainless-romp protagonist. He's a hopeless dork with a somewhat annoying Pollyanna way of bouncing back from tragedy--not to mention the most preposterous Dutch boy haircut you've ever seen--and for that you might think he's unconvincing as a human being. But actually he is a great embodiment of the stage motto "the show must go on". If you remind yourself of this, not only is he believable but he's really entertaining to watch. Late in the film we learn things about him that add tremendous depth and humanity to his character, and even though he's a hopeless dork he ultimately becomes one of the most memorable & endearing dorks I've ever seen. I was never a fan of Schwartzman before this, but I'll be checking out his other films for sure.
On the other end of the balance is his musical director (Stiller) who is the opposite of a dork: a total douchebag. Yet they share a common quality that you will learn at the end of the movie, and you see that the two of them are two sides of the same coin. Once it all comes into focus, you realize how clever this story is. Stiller is great, by the way. He's one of the most convincing douchebags I've ever seen.
In addition, those of you who are familiar with the Broadway show "The Wiz" will get a kick out of how the music goes along with the story. Or even if you've never seen "The Wiz", you can follow along with the backstory of The Wizard of Oz. Schwartzman basically plays a naïve Tin Man type of character while Stiller is an overbearing yet impotent Wizard. I thought that was a very nice artistic touch to weave the stories together like that.
As for laughs, though this isn't a madcap comedy like "Police Academy 19" there were some really good zingers that I had to rewind & play again because they were so unexpected (like Meg's poetic reading LOL). But overall, I thought this was far more than a brainless comedy. Even the goofy scene of a bunch of grown men bitch-kicking each other (LOL again) carried some great drama as well as a poignant, thematic message.
This is the sort of movie I foresee having a respectable cult following in 10 or 20 years, so get in early on the fun.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?