The Pleasure of Your Company
Had the makers of Arrested Development decided to make a romantic comedy, the results might look something like Michael Ian Black’s The Pleasure of Your Company. After spending more than a year mourning his deceased girlfriend (who died the second he asked her to marry him), Anderson (Jason Biggs) vows to “get back in the game,” proposing to the first girl he sees. That girl is Vanessa (Audra Blaser), a waitress whose boyfriend’s recent proposal has filled her with dread. When she says yes, Anderson’s not quite sure what to do. Vanessa’s impulsiveness, coupled with Anderson’s inability to back off from his proposal, cause the two to move in together.
If this sounds like your average goofy, 20-something rom-com, you’re right. The only difference is the quality of its peripheral comedy. Just as there are different types of frat boys, so too are there different grades of gross-out, cynical and absurd humour. The American Pie franchise, and the films that followed in its wake, rarely perform above the B- level in any of the above categories. Ian Black—a member of the controversial comedy troupe Stella—pulls it up to the occasional A.
Anderson and Vanessa’s parents get most of these laughs. Joanna Gleason, who plays Vanessa’s despotic but secretly thrill-seeking mother, does some incredible work. Unfortunately, since this is a commercial film with a teen audience in its sights—by teen I mean less the age group than the mentality— anything remotely intelligent is eventually overwhelmed by the tepid love story and its “zany” twists and turns.
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And for anyone who missed it, footage of Sacha Baron Cohen’s apology at the premiere of his Borat film is now on YouTube. For those who’ve been living under a rock (or reading a good book), the projector last week at Ryerson broke a mere 20 minutes into the screening. Michael Moore donned his special superhero Tigers cap and rushed up to the booth to fix the problem. Unfortunately, he couldn’t, so Cohen, who appeared in costume, had to take to the stage. While those in attendance were surely a little ticked-off, at least they were witness to this.
And to check out the absurd “diplomatic row” resulting from Borat, read this story in England’s Daily Mail. As many are pointing out, it reads like something from The Onion.