Composer’s actress girlfriend leaves him for rock star, Russell Brand. Composer goes to Hawaii to get over it, despite knowing ex will be there. Ex is there. Russell Brand is a tame version of himself, talking like Davie Jones of the Monkees. He’s a rock star because that means he can do comedy songs to make screen time pass a bit more quickly. The songs are quite funny.
The receptionist at the hotel is attractive and is clearly the second love interest from the moment she appears onscreen – thus all will-she / won’t-she drama is squibbed. Nothing really happens for an hour. Then the end happens.
I know you shouldn’t go looking for enlightenment in a Judd Apatow film, but you’d have thought you might get a few belly-laughs.
That chubby stoner from Knocked Up is here as a stalker-like fan of Brand’s band, Infant Sorrow. He isn’t really given any material you’d call ‘comic’. The one black character – a big, fat barman – is meant to be an amusing character, I think, because all he does is list things. Which isn’t very funny. There’s a thread about a wimpy newlywed on honeymoon who’s scared of sex, but that one failed to raise a smile. The surfing stoner played by the husband in Knocked Up kept forgetting things. I think he was also meant to be funny. It’s quite tricky working out what you’re meant to be laughing at which, for a comedy, poses a problem.
Russell Brand does his usual schtick, but a diluted, American-family-friendly version of it, so all potential for cheekiness and irreverence is snuffed out. Brand with a script isn’t quite the same beast as the sex-freak with the haircut when he’s allowed to improvise. He’s a little bit wasted here, but you’d imagine it’d be a challenge to give him a role in anything, being as he’s developed his own persona. In a way, he’s stuck with himself, much like Frankie Howerd or Kenneth Williams were.
The only remarkable aspect of the whole film is the fact that you see the leading man’s penis on two occasions. The comedy reveal of his winky is another failed laugh-prod, ultimately feeling like a pretty desperate attempt to shove in something for bloggers to talk about – like the ‘crowning’ scene in Knocked Up – another example of a tacked on shocker.
All in all – not as annoying or rubbish as Knocked Up, and without the occasional quality gags.
Apatow’s surely had his time… while the likes of Stiller, Ferrell and Sandler have all long outstayed their welcome. Can Hollywood do us some decent comedy now, please?