It’s been a while since I’ve just wrote a random post, which is funny because this is supposedly a ‘personal blog’. Funny.
I used to write little posts about stuff I just liked, usually in a “blast from the past you might have missed or not even be aware of because Moby is freakin’ getting old and knows about some cool stuff from ‘back in the day’ and he wants to share it with you” sort of way. So I guess this post is one of those.
It’s like a confession, but not about shit from the ’90s. This is about much more recent stuff that sucked, but Moby still likes all the same.
I’m talking about Vince Vaughn films. The last few he has made, basically solo, and how I really liked them.
A member of the ‘Frat Pack’ (Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, etc.), his moviemaking career was supposed to be one long succession of The Wedding Crashers and Anchorman, just one after another. But something went wrong along the way and Vince ended up moving in a subtly different direction, away from the clownish, immature brand of comedies like Old School and into movies that had a more traditional appeal…to no one apparently.
I joke, but they have not done well. Bombed I believe is the vernacular in Hollywoodland to describe the last 5 or so Vince Vaughn vehicles, and that’s really sad to Moby because I actually like some of those. I like that he has moved away, a bit at least, from the whole ‘I’m only a manchild’ sort of comedy of Farrell and Owen Wilson. In fact a couple of Vaughn’s more recent movies are really solid.
Delivery Man is a remake of the French film Starbuck, and it lacks comedy but makes up for it in being just a solid though unremarkable film that touches a bit at your heartstrings. He plays a character that we can actually like and not cringe at constantly, one who might have flaws but is not always a buffoon. And that is why I separate Vince from the rest of the ‘Frat Pack’.
How many times can we see these approaching 50-ish guys playing the same, tired role of ‘Man Child’ or ‘Clueless Buffoon’? How many more times are we going to have Farrell in another role like Get Hard? Sure, it’s all good for a laugh, but let’s face it, even Jim Carrey is not ‘Jim Carrey’ anymore.
I’m not saying they have to abandon comedy, like Keanu Reeves did after Bill and Ted, I’m just saying that the other members of the Frat Pack could take a note from Vince about moving away from being a cringe-inducing clown in every role. And that brings us to the other solid movie Vince did recently, Unfinished Business.
I put off watching the movie because, you know, it was just some stupid film by that guy who did that mediocre ‘Google’ movie. But when I actually saw it, I found it to be very funny and have a lot of heart to it. The ongoing bit about the hotel room he stays in is hilarious and well done. But overall I liked the movie because of what it was not: recycled clown characters. It had fresh clown characters.
Unfinished Business really solidified the liking I had of Delivery Man, it helped Moby to recognize that this tone and maturing of Vaughn’s comedy was not some fluke. It was almost like he decided to treat his audience like they were not stupid or something. Too bad the audience usually does not return the favor.
Seriously though, it’s a bit disappointing to know that though Vince is making better movies, the audience would of course rather have another heaping helping of Step Brothers idiots.
Business works because without the crutch of simply being rediculous the film has to actually have a plot, and situations that are more than just about some idiot being clueless. The comedy would still be there even if it were you or I were cast in the role, and there’s a lot to like in seeing this in a mainstream comedy nowadays.
I’m forever going on and on about how Hollywood has lost the love of the craft, stopped caring about the level of quality that their names are being linked to. It’s become too much about just the money frankly.
So yeah, these films I am going on about have lost money, and it’s Vince Vaughn and not some art house film or something, but aside from Chef I can’t think of many ‘solid’ comedies to come along in the last few years. Not off the top of my head, at any rate.
So, if you haven’t seen it, give Unfinished Business a chance and let Moby know what you think.