You're just a doorman, doorman!

'07 has been called the Summer of Sequels, and that's a shame, but judging the trailers that preceded Knocked Up, there isn't much hope for original films either. Tell me why I should care about this, this or this. Awful. Some silver lining here though.

Anyway, Judd Apatow's latest begins with 'Shimmy Shimmy Ya' so it's an auspicious beginning. The plot is deceptively simple, the characters are suitably bizarre, and the laughs come thick and fast. I rarely laugh out loud, but lines like "If any of us get laid tonight, it'll be because of Eric Bana's performance in Munich" really got me. There are loads, and I mean loads, of good beard jokes, including "You look like Robin Williams' knuckles". Plenty of suitably eccentric characters. Some funny cameos. Seth Rogen is very good as a lead, but plays funny a lot better than sincere. Katherine Heigl is not bad as the other lead, she isn't given too much to go with, though. Judd Apatow's kids are in it, and they're really funny - "I Googled murder!" - as is Kirsten Wiig from SNL in a small part. And it's easy to relate to the "what would you do?" premise, so it's easier to get absorbed in than most comedies.

Some gripes, though. It feels about twenty minutes too long, and there are definitely some lulls in there. The inevitable shift in Ben from carefree stoner to responsible parent-to-be is glossed over, and there are only so many slackers-ripping-on-each-other scenes you can take in one film. The interpersonal relationships rarely feel too developed, like between Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd. Dana Stevens at Slate mentions that Apatow doesn't write women characters very well, and I can see that. Despite all these flaws, it's funnier than anything else that'll be at the cinemas this summer, it's an original idea, and it's still very charming, so it's definitely worth a watch.

And because, baby I like it raaaaaaaw:

[download Ol' Dirty Bastard - Shimmy Shimmy Ya]

[In other news: Box Office Mojo has an interview with the writers of Pirates 3 that's almost as bafflingly incomprehensible as the movie itself. Apparently, it was inspired by Sartre. Hell is indeed other people].


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