movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Ricky Gervais? I’m in.

PLOT SUMMARY: A coming-of-age dramedy about 3 British youths growing up in the 1970s. Sounds pretty dry, eh?

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): The UK is full of losers.

PEOPLE: Co-Written, Co-Directed, and starring (in a lesser role) Ricky Gervais, creator of The Office, The Invention Of Lying. The other co-writer/co-director of this movie is Stephen Merchant — Ricky’s co-star in the Ricky Gervais Show. He is also in the film for a brief second. He *totally* looks like the cartoon version of him from the Ricky Gervais show. Instantly recognizable despite the fact that I’d never seen more than 2 seconds of his live-action self. :) Karl Pilkington is in an uncredited cameo, and unfortunately we missed him.

The main 3 characters are played by TV actors Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan. I should mention that Jack Doolan is pretty much the British answer to Clark Duke (Sex Drive, Kick-Ass, Hot Tub Time Machine). They both play the “fat kinda douchey kinda retarded annoying guy”. Compare this to this. And, of course, many might consider Clark Duke a poor man’s Jonah Hill. Thus, Jack Doolan is a British knockoff of an American knockoff. Jonah Hill -> Clark Duke -> Jack Doolan. The love interest is played by Felicity Jones.

Also starring Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort from Harry Potter, Clash Of The Titans remake, In Bruges, The Hurt Locker, Red Dragon, Sunshine), Matthew Goode, Emily Watson (as the love interest’s mother) (Red Dragon, Punch-Drunk Love, Equilibrium, Corpse Bride), and Steve Speirs (Flatnose from Inkheart, Capt. Tarpals from Star Wars 1:The Phantom Menace, Pirates Of The Caribbean:Dead Man‘s Chest) as the ‘good’ cop.

QUIRKS: Drinking, fighting, working-class mischief, police brutality, insurance sales, old-money, douchebags, racism, sexism, decreasing levels of comedy, depressingness.

VISUALS: Bleak, depressing 1970s UK.

MORALS: Sometimes you have to rise above your friends’ bullshit, as much as they want to keep you down. Start your life anew. Realize what you already have going for you. Leave town and get a life.

POLITICS: Society is not set up for the working class to succeed. UK sucks.

GOOD STUFF: Ricky Gervais‘s influence.

BAD STUFF: It’s not really a comedy, it’s a drama-comedy / dramedy. Heavy on the drama. Especially at the end. There’s a moment where all jokes stop for the rest of the movie. However, in its defense, there are some HOWL out loud moments of laughter worth catching.

MISTAKEN AS BAD is the racism, homophobia, and sexism. This is the 1970s. If you want an accurate film, you need to portray people like they were. People getting mad over this are revisionist: They want movies about 1970 to reflect 2010 values. They want to forget awkward history rather than acknowledge it. Political correctness is an enemy of art!

CONCLUSION: It was good for what it was, but it wasn’t what we wanted. I still enjoyed this, but it was a mostly depressing film, with decreasing levels of comedy. Ricky Gervais fans might be disappointed, as you expect to laugh your ass off with anything Gervais related. And while our asses were laughed off a few times, the laughing stopped mid-way, and it became a more generic drama movie. The entertainment value decreased and decreased until we got to our “happy” ending, which wasn’t even *that* happy. I’ve seen this movie a million times before, and it’s called “life sucks”. At least The Invention Of Lying was fresh, unique, and funny.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6.4/10 (a high 6).
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.2/10, Netflix: 3.5/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.3/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: For Ricky Gervais completists only.

SIMILAR MOVIES: This kind of reminds me of Judd Apatow‘s Funny People. Not by it’s plot, but by the fact that it’s an occasionally funny drama, disguised as a comedy, from someone who pretty exclusively has made comedies.

Mood: annoyed
Music: Sepultura feat Mike Patton – Mine