OK, so I’ve been meaning to do some movie reviews that are stingy with the words, but generous with that vacuumslayer sass you’ve all come to know and tolerate.
I’m starting with Gentleman Broncos.
Things you should know:
- It’s made by those guys who made Napoleon Dynamite.
- It stars Jemaine Clement (Who can do no wrong…at least in a comedic capacity. I don’t know if he’s good in the sack or calls his mother regularly or is a volunteer firefighter or any of that…)
- It takes place in some backwater Utah town.
- It’s about a teen dude who has lost his father– and obviously still misses him greatly–and dreams of becoming a science fiction writer. It is never said explicitly, but the main character in his stories is OBSV his father.)
- He writes a novel. It is stolen by Jemaine Clement’s character at an instructional sci-fi writing conference.
- The two versions–the original and stolen–are played out in asides throughout the film.
I don’t know about you all, but IMO, this sounds like a recipe for hilarity to me. And there are elements of the story that are terrifically clever. But it’s so goddamn weighed down with forced quirk, it just falls flat. (I am sitting on my hands in order not to make Gene Shallit-esque pun-jokes about the fact that yeast–yes, yeast–is a valuable commodity in the wondrous yet dystopian futures of these sci-fi worlds.)
I could live with the fact that modern-day Idaho resembled 1983 USA in Napoleon Dynamite. But they tried the same fucking thing in this film, and I’m sorry dudes, but I’m just not buying it. Listen. I’m a small-town girl from the South. And there’s no fucking way I’ve ever been as fashion-forward as the ladies who live on the coasts…but I managed to live my life not looking like a parody of what fashion trends looked like a decade and a half ago.
Also, all your quirk is SAD quirk. For crying out loud, the dystopian real world was far more frightening than the dystopian, fictional worlds you created. Perhaps that was your point, but there has to be–DON’T THINK OF YEAST!!!!–levity at some point in the story. Unless you want to be Alexander Payne* or Todd Solondz**. If you want to be those guys, you have a looooooooooong way to go. Do not try. Next time you have the chance to do something with material like this, cut down on the quirk and the “Ugly Americans” shtick those guys have mastered and just play this shit for laughs. Because if you had done that this time, this movie would have fucking ROCKED.
Also, Jemaine Clement was awesome and the movie’s only saving grace.
If you are looking for Jemaine Clement-related quirk, may I suggest the really cute, poignant and funny Eagle vs. Shark?
I was not stingy with the words. But damn I think you’re all smothered in sass in now. Aren’t you glad you hung in?
*Not including the unforgivable POS film, Sideways. Keep saying it’s great, sheeple.
** OMG, look at his IMDB pic. He’s a walking embodiment of his films! Not because I think he’s ugly. I don’t. He just looks very…sad.