©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
Dan, in Real Life

Filthy says:
"A big turd thanks to feminine stool softeners!"

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 TV.

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 had.

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 hot!

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 shitty whore.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Mose Persico of Entertainment Spotlight

The Game Plan is "A Real Winner Everyone Will Enjoy!"

Filthy's Reading
Colin Woodard - The Republic of Pirates

Listening to
Causey Way - WWCD