August 2, 2007

But only if Bourne is sold out, I mean

Back in January, I promised you that The Ten would be the funniest movie you'll see this year. Tomorrow, you'll have the chance to find out why.

Here's a message from my friend Eric, who worked on the film.

Variety calls it "Uneven but often hilarious." Film Threat says, "It's no comedic home run. It's a single with potential for a double, if you're willing to make an error in the outfield." And the Village Voice wrote: "Nothing gets in the way of a good prison-rape joke like romantic comedy." Ok, i'm not quite sure what that last one means. But the point is that if you read enough reviews of The Ten, your expectations will be suitably low enough that you'll thoroughly enjoy it. So please consider seeing my big screen film editing debut, opening at a theater near you tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it.


Posted by Daniel Radosh


"With 'The Ten,' David Wain uses the Ten Commandments the way a suicide uses a bridge. ... A 'Decalogue' for special-ed students..." --The New York Times

It's remarkable how many critics, like the Times', described the comedy as lowbrow or some similar word. The concept of smart humor masquerading as dumb humor is not really new, but it still seems to go right over some people's heads.

But, Daniel, don't you think the whole concept of "smart humor masquerading as dumb humor" is used a little too often and too generously. I'll be going to see The Ten and I'm sure I'll enjoy a lot of it. But, and I don't mean to single out Wain and the State/Stella bunch, I guarantee there'll be a good numbers of points where I'll be asking myself, "What were they thinking?!" I like surrealisism as much as the next guy. There's a certain giddy pleasure in, say, watching a character adopt varying accents for each successive line of dialogue or use the word "vagina" repeatedly for no specific reason but I wouldn't call it intellect in disguise. It makes me think they had no idea of what else to do.

And yes, I should have double checked my spelling in the previous post.

I don't have an opinion whether the concept of "smart humor masquerading as dumb humor" is used too generously; regardless, it's fitting here. I think The Ten is easily the smartest use of State-esque dumb humor ever.

Eric may be right that lowered expectations are the best way to approach The Ten, though. When I saw it at a film fest a few months ago, I went in expecting "uneven but often hilarious." I left thinking it was one of the funniest movies I'd ever seen. Around the same time, I finally got around to seeing Borat on DVD, expecting it to be one of the greatest comedies of all time, as per the hype. And I thought it was hilarious, sure -- but also a little uneven, and not a huge departure from the Ali G version.

I really thought critics might respond to The Ten similarly to how they did Borat or even There's Something About Mary. Uh, yeah, no. Maybe the difference is that Borat and Mary had what critics like to call a good heart, whereas The Ten doesn't appear to have a soul.

I may be a bit biased after hearing Comedy Central flaks describing The Man Show as a smart show masquerading as a dumb show. Uh, no.
And regarding The Ten, I'm a big fan of Liev Schreiber's deadpan comic acting ever since seeing his Studio 60 parody on Conan. Just great stuff.

Hot Fuzz now out on DVD in US. Doesn't have all the special features as the UK release but still enough to have you questioning the existence of other movies. Comedy and otherwise.

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