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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Benchwarmers



Um.....yeah....not good.

I don't want to go too much into how bad this movie is.

It would be too easy to attack this movie on that level. It's obvious that logic, reality and comedy for that matter, aren't part of this movie's world.

What I would like to discuss is how far the Happy Madison group has slipped.

Happy Madison is the group of comedians which consists of ex-SNL cast members Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz.....and if one wants to throw Norm McDonald in there too... that's fine .

Make no mistake about it....they are a talented group.

But lately I'm confused about what exactly this group of talented comedians feels is humorous?

Watching a movie like The Benchwarmers, one gets the sense that they don't even think the material is funny.

It's like someone is making them perform at gunpoint.

Indeed, reading a recent review of the DVD, the reviewer noted that David Spade does a less than enthusiastic commentary on the disc.

So what's going on???

The early works of the company like Happy Gilmore, Deuce Bigelow, and Tommy Boy were not admittedly mentally demanding material....thankfully.

They were low budget comedies with silly, over the top skits in absurd, crude, situations.

They were unabashedly stupid movies.

One could tell that the group could care less what the hell anybody thought. To me it just seemed like they were having fun, while trying to make each other laugh.

A movie like The Benchwarmers feels condescending and preachy.

The movie's moral is basically that kids should not be bullies.

The whole movie goes out of it's way to drive home that point....several times.

Are they honestly trying to teach us something.....or more specifically teach my kid something???

Rob Schneider?

What the hell??? I don't want Rob Schneider to teach my kid life lessons.

I'm waiting for the dick and fart jokes.

Since when did this group decide to make After School Specials?

It's like they suddenly care about what everyone's thinking.

What's even more depressing is that, not only does the group care about what the audience thinks about them, they all look like they aren't having fun anymore.

Like they hate what they are doing.

So what's the point?

It's not just this movie either, this has been going on for awhile now. I just caught The Longest Yard on cable the other night, and I swear Adam Sandler is trying to be Gary Cooper.

He wants to be a hero. He could care less if he makes anyone laugh.

I know he did Mr. Deeds and all, but Adam Sandler is not a leading man.

He's a comic.

He should only be concerned about making us laugh, not pulling on our heart strings.

Judging by the reception his movie Click got at the box office this summer, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

The truth is at one point, Adam Sandler was considered the most successful box office star in the world.

It's true, in terms of cost to profit margin his early movies are among the most successful movies....... ever.

But lately, the group has decided to deviate from the blue print.

It seems that lately the group is focused on making big budget so-called comedies....... with a message. An After school message.

The results are disastrous.

Serioiusly, I don't understand why they would think spending more money on special effects, and bigger, star-studded casts, would bring them more success.

If it ain't broke....why fix it?

It's really perplexing. Because the ideas are the same, but the execution is off.

Seriously....really off.

I mean there are fart jokes in the film, but what used to be funny, now feels awkward and mean- spirited. Even surreal moments in the film... like an albino character and a character who wears a speedo throughout the film don't feel like silly off-the-wall fun anymore.

It feels like desperation.

What's happened guys?

I'm trying hard not to be too critical here.

As a fellow actor, I know that comedy is the hardest thing to perform.

To move people emotionally in a drama, all a performer needs are good writing, and a dramatic situation.

Comedy requires talent, timing, and emotional availability....as well as good writing and an interesting situation.

But the truth is that this group hasn't been funny in awhile, and it needs to examine what their real goals in the entertainment industry are. They have the talent, and potential to do interesting, funny work.

But there's no trace of it here.....or any of their recent work.

The truth is the work they are doing now is not only, not funny but it's become insulting, and offensive.

Not in a comedic good way.

So here's hoping they figure it all out.

Because there's another group of comedians....which consists of Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Luke and Owen Wilson who'd be glad to steal this group's thunder.

I'm sure to the Happy Madison group....that's no laughing matter.



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