(Review originally written at 17 June 2008)

The movie is not really a movie that is a regular movie spoof, of which we have seen so many over the years. If you have never seen some of the movies that are being 'sweded' (movies being remade by the main characters) in this movie you just won't understand it or don't think it's funny at all. This is different from a more 'usual' movie spoof that is comical with its sequences, even if you haven't seen the movie that is being spoofed. It therefor also isn't really a movie for the '90's generation but more for the '80's generation and those born before that. This forms of course also a weak spot of the movie but at the same time makes it an unique one in its genre, which is a big plus on its own again.

But as a matter of fact, this movie is not really a spoof at all. Yes, it's advertised as a movie that pokes fun at some 'modern' era classics but this in essence is not what the main story is about. Yes, it forms the heart and soul of the movie but there is more surrounding the story. It's also really a movie with its dramatic elements, even though you luckily shall never take this movie or its emotions too seriously, which also really wasn't the film-makers intentions, I would think.

It's a very unlikely movie from Michel Gondry, who normally feels more at home by creating more surrealistic kind of movies. However his approach and different experiences also make sure that this movie is an unique and unusual one in its sort. The movie doesn't look and feel like the usual silly comedy that is being made in this decade and its actually more professional looking and feeling, which is of course also in contrast with the amateur movies that are being shot in this movie. The movie perhaps picks a more serious approach than you would expect from a movie within this genre, which is also the reason why this isn't really a 'laugh out loud' type of comedy but nevertheless a comedy that will make you smile throughout.

Michel Gondry gave his actors lots of room to do their thing. The acting feels very natural and non-forced, which is of course kind of unusual for a silly comedy. It's perhaps also reason why the movie works out and succeeds in what it tries to achieve. The actors were obviously given plenty of room to improvise, which makes the movie all the fresher to look at. Perhaps this will disappoint some Jack Black fans, since his acting feels more or less restrained by the movie its style and approach but it's a movie that proofs that Black is simply a good actor. Mos Def was also real great and he and Jack Black had a good chemistry together. The movie is being supported by some perhaps unlikely other actors in smaller parts such as Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, and Sigourney Weaver, who of course in the first place aren't really the type of actors you expect to see in a silly comedy.

It's a very unlikely and unique comedy, that strangely enough works, despite not following the usual comedy standards of this, or any other decade.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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