06 April 2009

"You can't play music if you don't know nothin' to play."

I promise that I will not devote every blog post to the Robotard 8000 and its delightful screenplay, "Balls Out," and I will soon move on to other topics.


Tonight I saw I Love You, Man. Early in the film, I realized that the characters have what some call "movie jobs" - ones that provide them with a steady source of income despite them rarely ever working - and for some reason, this caused various elements wandering around in my mind to click together. "Holy shit," I thought, "I'm watching the same screenplay formula 'Balls Out' ripped apart." I suppose that should have been obvious from the commercials, but sometimes I am very dumb, and it just never occurred to me until I was in that darkened theater.

Sure enough, as the plot of I Love You, Man ground along its predictable path, I kept thinking of similar scenes in "Balls Out," particularly toward the end, which is replete with the usual mundane third act arguments that later lead to (deep) lessons, easy apologies, and convenient forgivenesses. I had to fight the urge to shout "Yeah! Fucking yeah!" at the screen during the Everyone's-Happy-Again! resolution.

I don't mean to completely knock the film. For what it is, it's an agreeable way to pass two hours, made palatable by Paul Rudd and Jason Segel's performances. Even the heckler sitting in the very front seemed to enjoy himself, until a kind gentlemen in the back told him to "Shut up, dickhead!" But experiencing I Love You, Man so soon after "Balls Out" is like a crash course in Formulas 101. Hell, I'll even use the word "illuminating" to describe it. Just like I can't watch sitcoms without thinking of "That's My Bush!", I won't be able to watch these types of films without fondly remembering "Balls Out."

On an unrelated note, here's the greatest trailer ever:

(Thanks to Videogum and Lorin for pointing this out to me. Why can't I ever come up with genius high-concepts like this?)

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