CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Seth Rogen Delivers in Controversial, Hilarious ‘Observe and Report’
CHICAGO – The hysterically misleading TV spots for Jody Hill’s “Observe and Report” make it out to look like another broad comedy that might even have a cute romance between stars Seth Rogen and Anna Faris. There’s nothing cute or predictable about “Observe and Report”. And that’s precisely why it works.
Those ads are like suckering family viewers into a Kevin Smith movie by advertising that he did a voice in the animated “Doogal” or pitching “Tropic Thunder” to the crowds that really liked that family-friendly Ben Stiller in “Night at the Museum”. Audiences have no idea what they’re in for.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Observe and Report” in our reviews section.|
Drug use, extensive frontal nudity, extreme violence, date rape - this is material that’s not for the faint of heart. If you were remotely offended by last year’s Rogen vehicle (“Pineapple Express”) find another movie for this weekend’s date night. “O&R” pushes the envelope to a level that will be well beyond the breaking point for a lot of viewers and I understand that. It’s not a movie for everyone.
However, if you’re like me and you think that comedy should be dangerous every once in a while just for the health of the genre, then get in line. Sometimes, humor should make you uncomfortable. I would never dare to suggest that everyone will fall for the very dark jokes of “Observe and Report,” but aren’t you exhausted by the predictability of modern movie comedy? Don’t you sometimes want to see something completely different? Aren’t you tired of movies that you could write yourself simply based on watching the TV spots?
Anna Faris as Brandi and Seth Rogen as Ronnie.
Photo credit: Peter Sorel and Warner Brothers