This has jokes that often work. It has a genuine pathos that is surprisingly rare and is now the trademark of Apatow productions.
It has Hawaii and two women, one pretty the other a beauty. It has a deftly comic foil in the “other boyfriend.” It has some frontal male nudity that probably should be commended simply because its avoidance is ridiculous. Here, in fact, we have it twice and though it is meant to punch up those scenes, I found that it actually was dramatically integrated.
But because I am a narrative folding nut, I’ll point out the three inner performance folds. The girlfriend is a TeeVee star on a show for which our hero writes music. Her inner role reflects on her outer one.
The other boyfriend is a British rock star, whose onstage persona is mirrored in his character in the film. And the thing ends with the hero’s play within the play. In this case it is an extremely clever musical comedy derived from Dracula and performed by a mix of puppets, humans in costume and the participating puppetmasters. It is really quite wonderful by itself and after the story ends, it is clear how the whole project grew out of it. The integration of the idea of a love that “smothers” is brilliant.
Posted in 2009
Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.