Judd Apatow is back in the directing chair after working as a producer on most of America’s comedy output: Anchorman, The Five Year Engagement, Wanderlust, Get Him To The Greek, Superbad– the list is impressive. However, while Apatow has shepherded a lot of quality comedy talent in those films, his own directing and writing efforts (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) have received mixed feedback. In This is 40, he casts his own wife and kids as a family reaching a crisis point as the couple turn 40, in a plot that seems to imitate his own life. Sticking a little too close to home here proves to be the film’s downfall as laughs are few and far between.
This film from Billy Clift exploring the issue of gay marriage loosely resembles The 40 Year Old Virgin. But where the latter succeeded in being funny, romantic AND true to life, I Want to Get Married is so confused, awkwardly directed and – at times – really quite hard to follow, that the story at its heart gets lost. Also, the main guy’s face. What is that about.
There’s no denying that the ‘size zero’ culture has taken over the entertainment industry, and there is now an increasingly huge amount of pressure on film and TV stars to conform to Hollywood’s idea of perfection. But that idea is changing all the time – skinny was in, then curvy was in and now they just can’t make up their minds.
In many ways, film posters exist outside the tightly wrought bonds of grammar and punctuation. As stepping stones to another higher, inherently visual medium they do not have to conform to the petty linguistic scrabblings that the rest of us mere mortals cut our gums over. They can damn well do whatever they please; whatever it takes to get across their meaning. Except, of course, they obviously can’t. Obviously.
In the age of Ron Burgundy, 40 Year Old Virgins, epic Hangovers and Funny People, it seems everyone is falling back in love with friendship. But how much can we really trust these young scallywags and their adventures? We fear for the hearts and minds of men everywhere…