I love British humor. As a nerd, it’s one of the prerequisites, much like knowing who Boba Fett is and what it means when someone says “Ni!” If you aren’t familiar with these things, perhaps you should point your browser over to “Comedy film novices dot com”. Uuh, no, no, WAIT! Ha! I’m just kidding! Stay right here and enjoy yourselves! Please, I kid! I kid! Neither one of us want to anger the website hit Gods, right?
So I see the trailers for this movie and I think, “Awesome! Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran in a comedy together!” What a great pairing. Simon Pegg we all know from the great movie “Shaun of the Dead”, and lesser known in state side, Irish comic actor Dylan Moran, who was in the funny BBC series “Black Books”. Rent both if you haven’t seen them.
This is directed by David Schwimmer (Ross of “Friends”, for book snobs or those living under a rock). I know he’s directed some of those episodes and such so he’s not exactly a rookie. I’m thinking this could be pretty funny. Lucky for us, it is. However, it’s not without its faults.
Fault number one: It’s a fairly standard Hollywood set up. A guy gets cold feet on his wedding day, and runs from the best thing in his life then later tries to prove to the women he loves he is “ a grown up” because she feels “he’s never finished anything in his life”. Five years later, he has a dead end job and she (Thandie Newton) has their son and is dating a rich, successful man (Hank Azaria). He even runs marathons for charity, and ta-da! – there’s the rub. Fortunately, the guy with cold feet is the funny Simon Pegg, and Dylan Moran plays his best friend. And quite frankly, Moran steals the film which brings us to Fault number two: This makes us feel he isn’t in it nearly enough. Moran gets many of the best lines and moments in the movie. And ironically, the context of a male nude ass in film hasn’t been this funny in a while. I hope to see more of him in the future. No pun intended. Wait, maybe it is intended. No…well…oh never mind. (editor’s note: This was not a pun, but a double entendre)
This movie is sort like …well, like if Ross from “Friends” directed a British comedy. The story was co-written by Pegg, so has definite British flavor, but with some American Hollywood influence as well. You can guess which aspects works best. However, just when a scene approaches Hollywood sappiness, they finish it with a bit of life-preserving humor. And the big marathon sequence, which is somewhat predictable, thankfully ends with a funny punctuation mark as well. Then, right when you think the ending is going to be completely fluffy kitten happy face cute, they reign it in and make it a little more realistic.
This movie won’t win any awards. It might even be a little too watered down for big fans of British humor. It’s a bit too sweet, but this is certainly better fare than most state-side comedies, with enough laughs to enjoy and recommend. Do I think you could wait four months to rent it? Maybe. But it would certainly be worth a matinee price in the theater that guys could even take a date to.
Good thing for David Schwimmer, too. I mean, who can look at him acting without seeing Ross from “Friends”? So this directing thing better work out for him.
See you in line for popcorn, kids.