The Napzok Files…
The Genre of People
By Ken Napzok
I had the pleasure of seeing Bridesmaids last week. By myself. On a Wednesday. I wish I hadn’t worn a trench coat. When a friend of mine discovered that I did this, he sounded a bit surprised that I would go see a “chick comedy.” I told him I thought his audition for Mad Men wasn’t for another week. Let’s make this clear… Bridesmaids is not a “chick comedy,” it is a “people comedy.”
Everything covered in this movie is about stuff (hehehe… stuff.) that people can relate to:
* Two long time friends are about to become separated from each other due to one’s marriage. Oh, sure, they’ll try to stay in touch, they’ll meet for lunch every now and then, they’ll send Christmas and Birthday cards, then just Facebook comments. But, over time, life will just take them on different paths. There is a real undertone of this in most weddings. The Best Man and Maid of Honor is basically standing up to give a speech about the life they both used to have with the married couple.
* One of your long time friends has run off and formed a new friendship with someone you can’t stand. Yet you know that the decent thing to do is to try and be friendly with them because you respect your friend so much. At some point, though, you become the jerkwad.
* A decent soul looking for love has constantly undercut her/his self and stuck it out way too long in a bad romantic situation or relationship because that’s what they think they deserve. For me that was called my twenties.
* You eat some great food that turns out to be a demon spirit that invades your body and forces its way out when and how it damn well pleases.
These and more are the themes of Bridesmaids and if you think those are themes just related to women, then you should probably stop reading this column and go back to watching Monster Truck crashes on You Tube.
Wow. That was cool. Those trucks really go boom.
Any way… Bridesmaids is a genre changer for sure. Undoubtedly there will be a large swath of copy cat films popping up. Most of them starring Anna Faris. I hope, though, that those money grubbing movie producers who will be force feeding us a second generation fad flick keep in mind what is the true genre of Bridesmaids: People.
Five ways to make Pirates of the Caribbean 4 worth your money:
1.) Have Cpt. Jack Sparrow care about the main goal of the film.
I know ole’ Capt’n Jack is a freewheeling soul with not a care in the world, but while everyone in the movie is chasing down the Fountain of Youth for their own personal reason it would appear Cpt. Jack is only going along because he was forced to. He also wanted to get his ship out of a bottle. When your main character is not affected by the main goal of the film, the audience is just kind of casually observing along with him. Or, if you’re like me, checking Twitter on your phone and debating whether or not you should go get another hot dog.
2.) Make reference to the Blue Bayou restaurant.
I love that place. I’ll go to great links to get a waterside table and just watch the Pirates of the Caribbean boat riders just glide by while I eat my jumbo appetizer. Very relaxing. The first movie had several references to the Disneyland ride and experience. Each time one of these references would appear on screen, the audience would go “aaaaahhhhh” like Disney-program lemmings. But, you know what, it made us happy. Couldn’t the Spaniards have stopped off for a nice Monte Carlo sandwhich lunch before destroying the Fountain?
3.) Make us understand why the Priest and the Mermaid had a sweet on each other.
I get it, she’s a hot mermaid and he was put there because test audiences didn’t believe Jack would fall for a mermaid. I understand. But, that was more out of left field then the ending of Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. (So, if we had all just waited it out the aliens would have caught cold and we’d be safe?)
4.) Reunite Depp with Grieco.
If not in this movie, then someone should buy my Booker spec.
5.) Include Michael Bolton.
1.) Kristen Wiig, America’s Maid of Honor- Though she has been the MVP of Saturday Night Live for the last few seasons, movie audiences have been reportedly “surprised” to find that Wiig’s range goes well-beyond her quirky, weird sketch characters. Well, Bridesmaids certainly has changed that perception. I, though, have known all along:
2.) The Muppets, Fuzzy Superstars- When was the last time you heard happy, joyful applause from a theatre full of people upon seeing a trailer for a new movie? It’s been routinely happening for the new Jason Segel-led Muppets flick. It’s the applause of many happy childhood memories rushing back.
3.) Keith Richards, Pirate Rock Legend- The Rolling Stone’s legendary mumbler made his second appearance as Cpt. Jack Sparrow’s father, proving one thing: He’s still alive.
4.) Tina Fey, Bossypants- Head Writer during one of SNL’s most prolific eras, Weekend Update superstar, and force behind one of the best half-hour’s of television programming ever, (And I’m including She’s the Sheriff in that list.) Fey has added a charming, funny, and, most importantly, quick read of book to her legacy. It’s so good that we can start to forgive her for Date Night.
5.) Single Dads, Lost Demographic- For years single dads have been forced to take their kids to the movies to see horrible, horrible kid flicks like Legend of the Guardians, Cars, or The Phantom Menance without any reward for their effort as a good father. Well, all that has changed thanks to the forthcoming Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. The film stars Heather Graham. What better reward for a father taking his kids to the theatre than Roller Girl?
The “They Should Remake This” Award of the Month
If they’re going to keep remaking the classics like Arthur and The Hangover, why not remake one of the greatest romantic comedies of all-time? (Also on the list: When Harry met Sally…, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Rush.) You totally have a chance to modernize the tale of a hooker with a heart of gold just helping a business man find his way to a hotel. In fact… you need to modernize it: the movie has car phones in it! Car phones. That’s like a carrier pigeon to someone born in 1990… the year this movie first came out. Now, people are a lot more sensitive these days. They probably don’t want to watch a film about people on the lower rungs of society like prostitutes or Richard Gere, so here’s your chance to flip the script. Let’s put Anne Hathaway in the film, but instead of making her a lady of the evening let’s say she’s a… Hooters waitress… that won’t offend anyone but my Mother. (Who once entered a Hooters with my Father with no prior knowledge of what the restaurant brand was. When the hostess tried to take them to their table, my Mom said disgustedly, “Noooo thank you” and pulled my confused Father out of the place.) And Hathaway is serving some chicken wings one day when, uh, Jon Hamm walks in looking for a place to charge his smartphone (See! Technology!!) because he has to make a “big business call.” The manager of the Hooters, Kit De Luca, played by Laura San Giacomo in delicious call back cameo to the first movie, tells Hamm that only customers can charge their phones. So, Hamm sits down to have some chicken wings and watch sports, but, here’s the cute thing: he doesn’t watch ball sports. In fact, he hates it, but he needs to learn how to watch sports because his “big business deal” has to do with them.
So he asks Anne Hathaway if she can teach him the rules of ball sports. He pays her to stay with him for a week, teaching him a different sport every day. She just has two rules: She won’t kiss him on the mouth and you can’t ask about the Infield Fly rule. They spend the week together, there’s a funny scene at a polo game, and they end up “making love” while a Peter Cetera song plays. By the end of the week, he hasn’t just learned about sports… he joins a Fantasy Baseball league. He tries to leave town while also slipping her enough money to chase her lifelong dream of posing for Maxim magazine. He promises to come back around during the World Series. She gets mad (Hamm, “I’ve never treated you like a Hooters waitress.” Hathaway, “You just did.”) and he has to win her back during the Hooters Monday Night Football trivia tournament. (Which he wins by answering the question: How many felony crimes have the Cincinnati Bengals been accused of?) As the movie ends, a Ke$ha cover of the Roxette classic “It must have been love” plays.
Bam. It makes $60 million opening weekend.
You’re welcome, Hollywood.
The “Gem of a Moment” Scene of the Month
There are three kinds of people in this world:
1.) The ones that understand Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums is an understated comedic masterpiece.
2.) The ones that don’t understand Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums is an understated comedic masterpiece.
3.) The ones that bought a ticket to The Hangover 2 on opening night.
There are many scenes that one could watch to truly feel the essence of the film’s quiet, heartfelt, character based comedy. And you’ll have to dig on your own to find out why Bill Murray saying, “Where’s the red one gonna go?” is one of the funniest lines ever. But, I still get a kick out of the love triangle between Royal, Henry, and Ethel. Here it is at its explosive best:
Indiana Solo and the Fellowship of the Ewoks memory of the month
During my junior year in high school, I had decided to see if I had skills in the arena of Fine Arts. I enrolled in an art class under the guidance of a great teacher who I later realized probably smoked a lot of pot before class started. (I thought he was just quirky.) One of the assignments was designed to help us learn a little calligraphy. We first had to choose one of our favorite quotes to base the project on.
Others choose quotes from great minds, artists, writers, and leaders of our time and beyond. I choose a quote attributed to the Death Star’s chief administrator Moff JerJerrod in the novelization of Return of the Jedi.
“Great men never hurry, great men cause others to hurry.” – Moff Jerjerrod.
Yes, I even gave him credit.
Now, maybe, just maybe, you can understand why I thought The 40 Year-Old Virgin was a documentary when it came out.
Let’s all go to the lobby for…
… for breakfast food.
I recently went to my local motion picture movie house and caught a first showing of a motion picture, somewhere in the 10 AM ballpark. As I usually stay up late, gazing at my PS3 trying to figure out how to lasso horses in 1904 or solve murder cases in 1940, I basically woke up, rolled out of bed straight into my car, and drove to the theatre. When I saddled up to the candy counter, I looked at the cheery candy counter girls and mumbled, “What can I get that closely resembles breakfast?”
Then, after some giggles and deliberation, we settled on Junior Mints. Yes, Junior Mints… a popular, mid-nineties candy due to the iconic plug they received on the American television program Seinfeld. It worked… for now. I think it’s time for a movie theatre chain to take the lead on offering more breakfast-like snacks for their early rising movie goers. Perhaps a tasty box of Bacon Bits, maybe a soggy breakfast burrito, or a buttery box of pancakes. (A large is only a quarter more!) Someone make this happen, please. Take the idea, make tons of money off of it, I don’t care! Just let me have some breakfast during my movies.
Gruesome Game of Thrones death count:
Through episode six… 42 horrible and gruesome deaths by stabbing, jousting, bashing, burning, or wolf.
Little Known Movie Trivia
There have been many near castings that would have changed the course of the universe as we know it had they happened; like Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones or Pierce Brosnan as James Bond before Timothy Dalton got it. There is perhaps none bigger than the original choice to play Pee-Wee Herman in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. That’s right, despite the fact that Paul Reubens had created and portrayed the character on stage for years, the producer’s felt the movie version should star a more marketable and movie ready face (much like the movie within a movie). So, when it came time to roll film the producers went with their first first choice… Eric Stoltz. After five weeks of filming, the director knew something was off. Stoltz was good, but he just couldn’t seem to bring the right touch of comedy to the project. The producers and director faced a tough decision, but in the end they agreed to cast Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee and start filming over.
Oh, wait, I may have got some facts mixed up.
Ken Napzok is a writer, comedian, and pro wrestling manager living in Los Angeles. He got a B+ on his art project. He can followed at http://www.twitter.com/kozpan or subtly threatened at email@example.com.The Napzok Files: The Genre of People (5-28-11),