Thu March 1, 2007
Favorite Comedy of the Year
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
"Of middle age the best that can be said is that a middle-aged person has likely learned how to have a little fun in spite of his troubles." Don Marquis
If you're a middle-aged man who has yearned to travel by motorcycle with buddies out West, then director Walt Becker's hilarious Wild Hogs will answer all the questions those who love you would have about such a reckless adventure: It's City Slickers with a dash of Deliverance. That it is humorous, in an enjoyably adolescent way (slapstick, fundament, gay bashing among the well-worn joke generators), helps convey the male menopausal delirium that drives normal men to marry too-young women and assume more macho than they can deliver.
Along the journey of these four personable professionals (dentist Tim Allen, lawyer John Travolta, writer Martin Lawrence, and computer geek William H. Macy) come some very bad Hell's Angels bikers, headed by Ray Liotta, outfitted with tattoos and attitude in a gangster turn worth the price of admission. Nerdy Macy finds love with Marisa Tomei (easy to see why?this Oscar winner deserves more work) and hen-pecked Lawrence becomes his own man, among the many metamorphoses dotted along this trip.
Besides the uncanny comic timing of the principals, even with clich?d material, I was amused by the subtle references to my favorite Western, The Magnificent Seven, helping to make this my favorite comedy of the year. Why did I not award it an A? Well, Little Miss Sunshine is also a comedy, but much more original and insightful. But if you want to enjoy a movie without the demands of being a film critic, then take everyone you love for laughs that may help you forget for a couple of hours Darfur, Iraq, and most of the rest of the suffering world, many of whom would like just to live to middle age.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com