Sunday, October 30, 2011

These questions that are bothering you, Larry - maybe they're like a toothache. We feel them for a while, then they go away.

After putting my son down, then falling asleep myself, I awoke to find my wife perusing the blu-ray collection. It was after 11 (which is like 4 a.m for parents of a toddler) and I was surprised to find her getting ready to watch something. I jumped in the shower to wake up (she pounded some coffee - gross), then met her on the couch. She had two movies selected, The Fighter (review) and A Serious Man. I was thinking we should watch something scary, but, check the rules, that wasn't happening. Instead, it was off to Hebrew school. Luckily for us, the bus drivers were two of my favorite people in cinema, Joel and Ethan Coen.

From here, you can see boobies. And allow your annoying-ass son to watch F-Troop.
My goodness. I don't consider myself a genius or anything, but damn it, I was unable to connect the opening scene in this movie to anything that came after it. My wife said that if our living room had been the theater, we would've assumed we walked into the wrong auditorium. Well said. It was amusing, but what the Hell was the point? Nothing like being absolutely lost right out of the gate...
That's Strickland? Jesus. Didn't that guy ever have hair?

That said, this one might be a tough sell for many of you. After I scored this one on the cheap at a closing Blockbuster, I sought a little more information. The guy reviewing it said that you'd be better-served if you knew a little about physics and/or Jewish culture. Well, hot damn! Sign me up! Other than New England sports and Dreamcast games, those two are my specialty!

Look, don't let that discourage you. Given that you are in the right mood, this film is really funny. The Coen brothers are masters of Murphy's law. Literally, everything that could happen to our protagonist, Larry, does. Some of this is funny enough, but the real humor comes from how he handles it . He becomes unhinged toward the end, but in the most restrained way possible. I might have killed someone. Probably the a-hole neighbor. Or Sy. Sy and his giant hands and long hugs. What a prick.

Before I go, I have to mention the ending. I love an abrupt ending as much as the next guy (Eyes Wide Shut, No Country for Old Men), but this one might set a record. It's not quite mid-sentence, but it's pretty damn close.


  1. This one wasn't one of my favorites. It was pretty funny and had classic Joel and Ethan Coen moments, but a combination of the absurd opening and a semi-interesting plot (as compared to Burn After Reading, True Grit, etc.) I just didn't buy into it. But like you said, it might just be because I'm not too much into the Jewish culture.

    1. You will never read this reply, but I just wanted to thank you...three and a half years later...for the response. I don't remember any single thing about this movie, other than it had a truly bizarre opening scene.

      I still haven't seen True Grit, which seems kind of amazing now that I think about it.