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The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Style over substance
By all means, see this film if you're a lover of "independent film" and think that anything quirkier then quirky and devoid of anything resembling true humor is great art and you look down your nose sneeringly at "mainstream" Hollywood film-making. If you're looking for a good laugh or a good story, I would pass. It's not a comedy! There are great actors doing great acting here - Gene Hackman is the standout- but the film is all too precious and it's trying so hard to be art with a capital A that the performances are not enough to redeem it. There's also far too much background music, something that's probably necessary to sustain the "hip" feel. I'll bet if you removed the music, a lot of the people who love this film would take a closer look. This is to real comedy what a performance artist pouring Hersheys Syrup over himself is to a true comedian like George Carlin.
Meet the Parents (1992)
Have to see this film
With all the current hype over Meet the Fockers, I am compelled to remember how funny the original Meet the Parents was when I was fortunate enough to see it in Chicago in the mid 90's. I have never heard an audience laugh like that in my life! It still remains one of the best comedies I have ever seen. I understand that the filmmakers are not allowed to show the original and it's too bad. This film, although pretty low budget, had a believability and subtleness that the big budget remake didn't have. I hope after Universal pictures makes every last dollar out of the MTP franchise that they will allow this comedy gem to be released.
A Guy Thing (2003)
Who re-wrote this once funny script?
I was rather disappointed in the end result of the final re-write of this once hilarious script. I am a good friend of Greg Glienna and have followed the script through a series of drafts. Everything that ended up in the script between his last version and the film version was stupid, contrived, or over the top. The best thing about Greg's work (see the original 1991 version of "Meet the Parents") is that all of his humor is set in the most realistic of settings. Like the Greek examples, comedy is someone else's tragedy... So to have the lead man scratching his crotch in a business meeting is not only not believable, it's not funny. I could list half dozen or more examples of this sort, but it's hardly worth the time. I did notice that every time the audience thought the film was funny, it was from the original Glienna script.