God, this movie is awful. That’s all I can think about right now. There’s actually a plot to this awful movie other than a bunch of bros walking around a neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean anything because, well, it’s awful.
Do you know those movies you always hear about where every funny scene was shown in the trailer? Yeah, this was one of those movies. I couldn’t even enjoy the few funny parts of this movie because I had already seen them twenty times in the previews or on TV spots.
Whenever I watch a movie like this that isn’t funny, I become very aware of the fact that I’m watching a movie that isn’t funny. I start paying attention to how little I’m laughing (kind of like how you start paying attention to how much you blink when someone tells you that you blink a lot). I think I laughed (or at least grinned) for one-third of this movie. Seriously, this movie felt like a really terrible episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (which is really insulting because Scooby Doo is awesome); and obviously, the writer recognized that because he even had one of the characters make a Scooby Doo reference.
I mean, this movie really could’ve had a hilarious story. Aliens pretending to be upper-middle class suburbanites? That’s freaking gold! It could’ve been a great social commentary on how people in upper-middle class suburban neighborhoods don’t know their neighbors anymore. But instead, the movie focused on making lame jokes. And why did they make lame jokes, you ask?
Because Seth Rogen was the goddamn writer. As we’ve learned over the years, Seth Rogen really isn’t that funny, but he thinks he is (I suppose if I sat around smoking pot all day, I’d think I was funny, too). When he is funny, it’s only because he’s doing what Judd Apatow tells him. So why did they choose Seth Rogen to write this movie when Ben Stiller wrote/co-wrote Tropic Thunder and Zoolander?! Honestly, this movie would’ve been ten times funnier had Stiller written the script. *sigh* I guess we’ll just let this movie go down in the history of “Why Seth Rogen Should Quit Life.”
And maybe I’ve just seen too many Vince Vaughn movies, but for some reason, he bothers the absolute hell out of me. And it was no different in this movie. I think it’s because I eventually realized that all his acting consists of is talking really fast and really loud over the top of other actors. Seriously, find me a movie where he doesn’t do that. Now, having written linguistics papers on overlap and interruptions in conversation, I understand that this is a common occurrence in American culture (especially among teenage girls)…but goddamn! It makes it really hard to focus on the dialogue. So if you like listening to Vince Vaughn run his mouth for an entire hour, then you might actually like this movie.
Would you believe it if I told you there was ramping in this movie, too? Probably not, right? Why? Because ramping is a common special effect in action movies, and this movie is a comedy. Yeah, I thought we were safe from ramping with a comedy. But we weren’t. I guess when a comedy fails at being a comedy, it has to start picking up traits from other genres because it’s too lame to be itself (unlike that underground, hipster, indie comedy, which is totally unique and not like the other underground, hipster, indie comedies out there).
If it had been a gesture to mock action movies for their excessive use of ramping, then it would’ve been funny. But it didn’t feel like that’s what this movie was doing. No, it seemed like they knew this movie sucked, so they just threw the ramping in to make it look better—or to cater to the tastes of their male audience majority (who are also the majority for action movies, which always use ramping). No joke…the moment the ramping started, I facepalmed.
Okay, okay…I’ll be nice now. There were a few okay parts.
Like the whole side story of Bob (Vince Vaughn) and his teenage daughter, Chelsea, was pretty good. Basically, Bob’s wife is out traveling for her job, so Bob is left at home to raise his daughter; but Bob realizes he’s in over his head because he has no idea how to raise a teenage girl, let alone how to discipline her appropriately or keep her from making out with boys at her “slutty” friend’s house.
Bob ends up Facebook stalking her (Oh, you think your parents aren’t Facebook stalking you right now? How cute), busting into her friend’s party to rescue her from the douchebag who pressures her to sleep with him, and literally ripping that same douchebag’s junk off (but that’s because the douchebag turned out to be an alien from a race that dies when their junk gets injured). The reason why it was so funny was because the movie really captured the average father’s relationship with his teenage daughter—the overreacting, the embarrassment, the ripping the boyfriend’s junk off, etc. I think any father (or parent, really) can relate to this.
Another funny part? When Costco manager Evan (Ben Stiller) leaves the crime scene at Costco where his security guard, Antonio, was murdered, there’s a 30-second scene of him driving in his car listening to the Spanish version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” which I believe translates to “El Sondido del Silencio.” At first, I thought the moment was going to be really sad, but then that version of the song came on and I started laughing.
Oh, and during the orgy scene…wait, hold on. Let me explain! The only reason there’s an orgy scene in this movie is because the writers realized this movie was shit, so they wanted to apologize to the audience by throwing in some tits and ass. Okay, let’s continue. During the orgy scene at Evan’s creepy neighbor’s house, the three guys from Lonely Island (think SNL’s “Dick in a Box” or “I’m On a Boat”) make a cameo in an awkward masturbation triangle, which then turns into circle-jerk.
Overall, this movie wasn’t a laugh riot. It wasn’t even really a good laugh. It was kind of like that half-hearted laugh you do when your significant other tells the same joke multiple times because you know the joke really wasn’t funny, but you recognized that it was trying to be funny. Some of you will probably claim that, because I have ovaries, I don’t find male-targeted movies funny. Well, that would be bullshit. Ted was certainly more male-targeted, and I loved it.
No, I blame it on Seth Rogen, who wrote the script for this movie. Family Guy nailed it when they joked that “Seth Rogen disease” could give people the impression of being funny without actually having done anything funny. That’s exactly what he did to this movie in a nutshell. You could argue that letting Ben Stiller write the script with his purposely ridiculous comedy wouldn’t have made the movie good either, but at least Stiller has written comedy classics, like Tropic Thunder and Zoolander. Um, what was Rogen’s last screenplay? The Green Hornet. Yeah, LAWYERED. Basically, I’d save your money on going to see it in the theater. This is more 99-cent rental territory.