I have 498 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? Klown (2010)
What’s it rated? Rated R for Unbridled misogyny, human rights violations and little boy penis.
Did people make it? Written by Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam. Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard. Acted by Casper Christensen, Frank Hvam, Marcuz Jess Petersen, Mia Lyhne, Iben Hjejle and Tina Bilsbo.
What’s it like in one sentence? Crappy people having awkward and awful encounters in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm or The Hangover.
Why did you watch it? Relaxing Dragon and Louis Pantelakos talked me into it a month or two ago. They have the patience of saints. I took a bit of a break while I was inundated during the holidays. But we’re back up and running with no more breaks.
What’s it about in one paragraph? Frank and Casper are best friends who have been looking forward to going on a canoe trip to the Tour De Pussy (a smorgasbord of women from around the world available under one roof for one night only). The problem is that the day before the trip is to begin, Frank finds out his girlfriend is pregnant and that she wasn’t really ever planning on telling him because she didn’t think he had it in him to be a father. Taking umbrage at this, Frank kidnaps his shy and taciturn nephew Bo and takes him along on a canoe trip filled with drugs, alcohol, prostitutes and shame. Tons and tons of shame. Will Bo become a man? Will Frank learn how to be a thoughtful and considerate man? Will Casper be a pretentious douche? All signs point to other signs.
Play or remove from my queue? I’d play it for sure. It wasn’t quite as laugh out loud funny as I’d heard and, in a time where humiliation comedy seems omnipresent, it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but it’s a pretty entertaining way to spend 90 minutes. Klown definitely ups the shock and gross-out factor more than I’ve seen in a film for awhile, but those moments feel earned in a character-based way more than modern comedies usually strive for. When the shit you can’t believe you’re seeing happens, you can’t help but admire the stones on these guys for just going for it.
I found myself spending a good chunk of the running time close to covering my eyes in pure humiliation for Casper and Frank, but mostly for poor Bo. He sits when he pees, is mocked for having a tiny penis and is generally treated like a non-entity by everyone sharing his air. As the film progresses, his arc is really the only one you have any emotional investment in, as Casper is fairly one note with his throbbing ego and sharp edged misogyny and Frank is such a personality deficient, self-absorbed loser that you just know that whenever the moments that matter come, he’s either going to let them pass or make the wrong decision completely. But dammit, sure enough, the film rewards you for actually paying attention to these clowns and gives each of them multiple chances for redemption in ways subtle and on the nose. As horrible as they may seem to you and I, Director Mikkel Nørgaard loves them and hopes that by the end we will too.
Even if you’re not completely sold on the film, the final 5 minutes or so fully make up for the sometimes flat direction and aimless script. The last few shots of the film truly had my jaw dropped and shocked the hell out of me that this film could squeak by with an “R” rating. And again, the moments feel earned and close out a comedy that I probably won’t remember much of a year from now, but I’ll respect until then.
Do you have a favorite line? The whole sequence where Casper tries to show that you can get anything you want from a man if you flirt with him and how that backfires on him. Literally.
How’s the music? The score is pretty reminiscent of some of the work Mothersbaugh did on the early Wes Anderson films. Also, it has a great song by Langhorne Slim, who is the man.
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? Klown is being remade in the States with Todd Phillips producing and Danny McBride starring. Danny has been wearing on me lately, but he plays unlikable better than most, so I think this might translate OK.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Sound of Noise (been meaning to watch this for awhile), Fatso (I liked it better when it was called Heavy), Adam’s Apples (Mads Mikkelsen guarantees my viewing), The Salt of Life (never heard of it) and Peep Show (better than most things ever).
What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? It’s a Danish version of The Hangover meets Curb Your Enthusiasm. But with child penis.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 3.7
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? 3.4
Can you link to the movie? That seems fair.
Any last thoughts? Don’t watch this with your parents.
Did you watch anything else this week? I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild last night and enjoyed it, but it didn’t connect with me as emotionally as I’d hoped it would.
Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Headhunters? Just that it still remains one of the year’s best films.
Next Week? No idea. Butter? Iron Sky? Sleepwalk With Me? Dark Horse? Something else? The choice is yours.