So you thought the silly season for 2016 was over, huh? A friend told me recently that sometimes a person is just in the mood for a stupid movie. Writer/director John Hamburg ("I Love You, Man"), who specializes in silly comedies, worked with writer Jonah Hill ("21/22 Jump Street") to bring us a (HARD) R-rated cockamamie story about a rich slacker who falls for the daughter of a hard-working businessman. Dad is NOT amused when he and his wife visit her near the Stanford campus for the Christmas holidays.
I guess Hamburg and Hill must have a lot of friends in Hollywood because they were able to assemble a pretty good sampling of "name brands" willing to embarrass themselves on screen.
Take a look:
- * James Franco ("127 Hours") is Laird Mayhew, the lewd, crude slacker I mentioned. He is crass, tasteless and thoughtlessly insulting, but tries to atone with wildly inappropriate and lavish gifts.
- * Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") is Ned Fleming, the hard-working father who goes from angry to horrified, embarrassed to humiliated. He wants what is best for his daughter, regardless of what SHE wants.
- * Zoey Deutch ("Beautiful Creatures") is his daughter Stephanie, gaga over this sweet diamond in the rough. Just one look at her, and we can certainly see why Laird is gaga over Stephanie.
- * Megan Mullally (LOTS of TV) is Ned's wife Barb, a bit more open-minded but flabbergasted, just the same. I can't believe Mullally did that scene on the hi-tech toilet (yes, that's what I said!).
- * Griffin Gluck ("Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life") is Scotty, Ned's bright and ambitious, but overlooked son.
- * Keegan-Michael Key ("Keanu") is brilliant as Gustav, Laird's life coach, fight instructor, etiquette teacher and, to Ned, Cato to his Inspector Clouseau, but they are too young to get the reference. (I was way ahead of them on that one.)
- * Cedric the Entertainer ("Barbershop: The Next Cut") is Ned's right-hand man, Lou. He is in charge back home while our hero and his wife visit the Left Coast.
- * Elon Musk plays himself... and has a great line to boot! (He never mentions Teslas.)
- * Gene Simmons plays himself (the Fleming's are great KISS fans).
- * Steve Aoki seems to specialize in playing himself...
When Stephanie's parents visit their daughter, they are not only dismayed to see who she is dating, (he has a dead moose encased in urine as an art piece in his living room) they are terrified. When they learn that this well-meaning dufus is getting ready to pop the question...panic ensues...
You will be surprised to hear yourself laugh because you've covered your eyes and ears. The screening audience was vocal in their delight (they were in the mood for something stupid), so it was a happy group who exited the theater.
This is R-rated mess is waaaay over the top. YOYO (You're On Your Own).
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Here is a peek:
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