07 September, 2007
Months ago I asked a friend what Simon Pegg's next movie was going to be and he said, "Run, Fat Boy, Run". So I punched him in the face. We still laugh about the misunderstanding today.
Anyway, I’ve been a fan of actor-writer Michael Ian Black’s for a while. I enjoyed his work with Stella and his addition to the Ed cast was brilliant. However his movie Wedding Daze kinda sucked which was a big surprise to me.
Simon Pegg, accomplished and successful screenwriter of features, has adapted Black’s New York set script and set it in London (it was a finance thing) and while it is entertaining enough I think he’s restricted by the original source material.
The structure is fine, I think, it’s just that the elements that make it up are very familiar. All writers would be able to predict the exact ending well before it happens but I think maybe the general public will be able to as well.
Having said that it’s not too shabby. In the re-writing it helped that director David Schwimmer insisted that the laughs came from reality and there are laughs to be had, although they’re not really consistent enough.
Although it’s interesting as we kill ourselves trying to find an original joke never heard before that the biggest audience laugh came from an old gag I first heard on I'm Alan Partridge.
By keeping it real and going for natural laughs, you’re not thrown out of the story. However, note how many pratfalls there are. People falling over and banging into things is a more acceptable way of gagging up a script than lots of hacky banter but writing funnier material is a much better way.
It generates goodwill due to the good characters and the convincing emotional truth of what happens (and the excellent performances) so I think it's worth seeing - but lower your expectations first.