Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lady Dilemma

Yesterday, I talked about a bad movie featuring the standard Seth Rogen character. Today, I have a similar situation. In this case, the bad movie features the standard Vince Vaughn character. That would be a witty guy with a major league superiority complex who uses his above average intellect to con and hustle his way through life. Somehow, he's able to do all this without driving away everyone he cares about, at least until it's convenient for the plot for this to happen but he usually manages to win them back in the end despite the fact that he broke their trust in numerous ways. This movie has Vince Vaughn character and, luckily, Vince Vaughn was available to play him.

Vaughn and Kevin James play Ronnie and Nick, best friends since college who are now partners in a business that develops and sells new automobile models to major car manufacturers. I know what you're thinking: "Oh Lord, not another movie about that." One thing I liked about this movie is how hard they work at their jobs and how those jobs affect their personal lives. Characters in movies like this usually go to work in their law firms or ad agencies and sometimes make vague references to a project or a client but the bulk of their time is spent dealing with some kind of personal crap and they act like their jobs pretty much don't exist. Another thing I like is that they have age appropriate wives. In movies, men in their 40s are often paired up with girls young enough to be their daughters and, when done to often, it can be very distracting. To me anyway. In this movie, Ronnie's longtime girlfriend is played by Jennifer Connelly and Nick's wife since college is played by Winona Ryder, both of whom look awesome and managed to spare us scenes of Vince Vaughn making out with Miley Cyrus. So far, this sounds like a pretty good review so why did I call it a bad movie.

One reason it's a bad movie because it's a comedy and so many of the jokes aren't funny. This is fatal for the movie since Vaughn, the main character, is so unlikable. Vaughn often plays unlikable men but that's OK because he balances it out with enough jokes to make you want to watch him. Even movies I didn't particularly care for like Four Christmases had enough funny Vince Vaughn lines to make it bearable but, sadly, that's not the case here. Vaughn's Ronnie discovers Nick's supposedly wonderful wife is cheating on him with a guy named Zip (Channing Tatum not looking clinically depressed for once). The thing to do here would simply to have told Nick what was happening but then there wouldn't have been a movie (not that this would have been a mad thing) so Ronnie at first confronts Geneva (Ryder's wife character), an action that escalates to the point where Ronnie loses the ability to behave rationally. This all would have been fine but, to my great surprise, the jokes just weren't funny. This is the one movie one truly unforgivable sin. Oh, there are some laughs here and there. Queen Latifah is very funny as Ronnie and Nick's auto company liaison, for instance, but she wasn't on that often and even she got annoying toward the end.

As I write this, I'm noticing the similarity to what I said yesterday about The Green Hornet. These are wildly different movies that are bad for similar reasons. I should save these reviews and just copy and paste stuff when I review Adam Sandler's upcoming film Just Go With It. Sandler will almost certainly play the standard Adam Sandler character and it will almost certainly not be funny though I'll have to toss out the part about age appropriate wives since that movie has 44 year old Sandler romancing 23 year old swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker. Still, that movie will have 23 year old swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker in a swimsuit so maybe it won't be so bad.

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