I always know that fall has arrived in Arvada
when I wake up in the morning to find a thin layer of frost
all over my face. When I fall asleep in the hedges, anyway.
If I make it to bed, it's usually just snot and spit, but that
isn't a seasonal thing. Olde Town's Scarecrow Festival came
and went with the only incident being the Harelip being arrested
for humping three of them. Trick or Treat Street took place
on Olde Wadsworth last Friday. All the quaint, folksy shops
selling quilts, incense, homemade candies and used books kept
the doors open late to hand out candy and coupons to costumed
children. The most popular ones this year were Darth Vader,
pirates, princesses and drunken politicians staggering around
with broken bottles. Man, those little drunkard tykes are cute
as a button.
For Trick or Treat Street, the participating
businesses put a poster in their window telling everyone they're
participating. The assholes too fucking tight to give out a
little candy don't. They just turn out the lights of their shitty
fake flower and leather-goods stores and hope all the parents
won't remember come November 1. Only one business was specifically
asked not to participate: the Tavern. I don't know why. Maybe
it's because last year a lot of the younger trick-or-treaters
cowered in fear when they trudged into its dank, decrepit innards.
Maybe it's because a few dressed as hobos were mistaken for
legal-aged midgets because of the stubble painted on their faces.
That handful was given several shots of Rebel Yell whiskey,
then a couple puked in the pickled eggs, and one punched Worm
in the nuts. Plus, they made us watch Scooby Doo on the
This year, us loyal Tavern patrons were left
on the outside looking in, watching those adorable munchkin
monsters, goblins and Cinderellas trundle by through the bar's
coke-bottle glass entrance. The Harelip wouldn't stand for that.
She says she loves kids, just not her seven. She set up a haunted
house in the alley, and it must have been pretty damn spooky
judging from the number of disheveled children who came running
out in tears. So good, in fact, that the cops shut it down and
took her in for questioning.
Seeing as how I had a choice of either getting
so loaded I can't recite my ABDs, going into the alley to have
the snot scared out of me by the Harelip, or watching kids count
candy, I did the sensible thing. I headed down the hill to the
Olde Town Cinema and caught Dan, in Real Life. Then I
got pissed: why the hell did I pay $9.50 for something that
was nothing more than a Hallmark Channel movie with a better
cast? Man, this thing is as predictable as Mrs. Filthy's bowels.
Not to brag or anything, but my wife is as regular as a Swiss
watch... that poops. And I got an e-mail from someone selling
one of those last week.
Actually, I'm not sure that Hallmark Movie is
the right description for Dan, in Real Life. It's more
like a long, spongy sitcom that you've seen before. Steve Carell
plays Dan Burns, an advice columnist raising three daughters
while his wife freezes her ass off six feet underground. He's
apparently still mourning her death, so when we first meet him
he's a mopey, passive-aggressive, uninteresting turd of a man.
Oh, bay, can't wait to spend an hour and a half with that.
During a "wacky" family vacation with his brothers,
parents, nieces and nephews, Carell bumps into a girl that finally
gets his gears grinding. She is Juliette Binoche, who represents
someone's idea of the perfect woman. But, I thought that guy
only existed in General Foods International Coffees commercials.
While Carell is a morose widower, she's a wordly, French-accented,
overall dull woman, who is unbelievably accepted immediately
into this wacky family. Credit to the movie for making her a
realistic age, though. She's 40, not 22.
I say wacky family vacation because the members
of Carell's family all get along, they play charades, football,
have talent shows, eat together, don't stab each other, and
a lot of horseshit that no real family does. They are supposed
to be some shorthand for lovable and warm, but it stinks of
phoniess worse than a Taiwanese purse factory. Even less believable
is that they don't tell Dane Cook to shut the fuck up and go
sit in the shed until the movie's over. God damn, I wish they
It turns out that Binoche is the date for the
weekend of the lothario Cook, who is Carell's brother. Although
Carell and she have an instant connection, they can't act on
it. Well, not for about an hour-and-a-half of screen time, and
not without a whole lot of bullshit sitcom plot points getting
in the way. One of Carell's daughter's wants to drive, but he
won't let her. Another wants to date a boy, but he is a meddling
dad, trying to stop her. Carell's parents have the thankless
job of being "humorously" nosy parents who give him unwanted
advice and set him up on a blind date with a girl who was dubbed
"pig-face" the last time he saw her. And guess what? Now she's
Dan, in Real Life turns on predictable
sitcom crap like that. Of course, Carell and Binoche are eventually
caught in a forbidden embrace. And of course, Cook is mad, but
quickly is hooking up with pig-face, which somehow makes Carell's
own moral lapse okay. Of course, Carell learns a lesson about
parenting from all of this. And, most obviously, Carell and
Binoche are torn apart, only to give Carell a chance to prove
he is no longer the wimpy mope he started out as.
Patching the corny plot together is sight gags
and jokes that will feel as familiar to you as a pair of holey
underwear with permanent skid stains in the back. Carell falls
off the roof while trying to escape without being noticed. Good
God, I think there are cave drawings of that gag. Carell takes
some kids on a lousy fun trip that includes a lot of closed
amusements. For fuck's sake, the story's lead character is an
advice columnist. Isn't that shit reserved for really bad chick-lit?
Back to Dane Cook: how the fuck did this turd
become famous? And how many more fucking lousy performances
does he need to subject us to before we all stop paying to see
him crap on the screen? Seriously, the bastard has no discretion
in choosing projects, and then he sucks in them. He brings no
wit, no charm, almost nothing that any frat fuck can't carry
off. He has the charisma of a hippo with skin disease, and exudes
the flop sweat of a prick who wants to be a star so fucking
bad he'll never stop to consider whether he deserves it or not,
or what he's inflicting on the public in his quest.
Carell is a great actor. He's the wholesome
kernel of corn in this pile of shit. The guy just looks human
and decent, even when the character is this mopey and pathetic.
He's probably pushing his luck, too, starring in crap like this
and that one where he builds an ark and wears a fake beard.
Hell, though, when he's in a good movie, he's fucking awesome.
I hope he chooses better from now on.
Two Fingers for Dan, in Real Life.
Dane Cook sucks ass. Your ass, my ass, everyone's ass. Fucking