Friday 18 September 2009

43: Twelve Movies - Two Tickets to Paradise

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Originally posted: 17 March 2009.

12 Days: 12 Movies
(2006, 90mins, Dir. D.B. Sweeney)

Put Simply: It's like a road-movie version of Chasing Amy meets Old School. Yeah...
Stars: John C McGinley, Paul Hipp, D.B. Sweeney

The movie follows a trio of childhood buddies, well into their midlife crises, who take a road-trip across the US to go to a football (not soccer) championship when everything else in their lives is falling apart. They take with them an acoustic guitar, a shedload of beer and a desire to get away from all the shit around them. En route, they get drunk, get high, set fire to a celebrity's house, get cornered by alligators, trash the car, and meet some of those fantastic creepy characters you get in road-movie-comedies. Sounds good, right?

Unfortunately, the film's too melodramatic and too low-budget to be the rip-roaring comedy it would like to be. The America in this film is dirty, and it rains too often to be comparable to Road Trip or Sex Drive. Of course, the heroes of this movie aren't scrawny teen boys - they're scrawny adults (and you will raise an eyebrow when Mark claims to be 28) - but the comedy is too black to sit next to the likes of Anchorman or Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The multiple references to suicide drag it down for a start. They go slightly too far in showing that the lives of two of the three heroes are genuinely shitty. Nothing says 'loser' like three guys approaching middle age, and realising that they never achieved that much, and they've lost most of that.

It's a damned shame, because there are some corking gags in there, but the end result comes out like Chasing Amy; there's some good laughs and an emotional connection the first time you watch the movie, but it's just a bit heavy for repeated viewings. Still, there's Del Amitri, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Georgia Satellites and Bowling for Soup on the soundtrack, so at least it's a chilled ride. The end's a little unconvincing in how 'easily' everything gets wrapped up, but we're at a short 90 minutes here and any more depth is only going to labour the point further.

In short - it's worth a watch, but there's nothing new here.

I reckon: 6/10

Tomorrow: Watchmen

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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