Judge Christopher Kulik will never have a best friend or girlfriend who loves Dane Cook.
Our review of My Best Friend's Girl (Blu-Ray), published January 13th, 2009, is also available.
Bad boys finish first.
I've never seen Dane Cook on stage. Evidently his crude riffs have garnered a large fan base, mostly consisting of college-age guys who think any recent National Lampoon movie is the height of hilarity. Well, those fans can once again squirt in their pants to Cook's newest cinematic offering in obnoxious, cataclysmically crude humor. My Best Friend's Girl is a so-called "romantic comedy," whose contempt for its audience was sensed by all except Cook's loyal fans. In my opinion, they need to put down the beer bottles and get some therapy. Quickly!
Facts of the Case
Aptly-named thirty-something Tank (Dane Cook, Good Luck Chuck) is a despicable mongrel of a human being. While he's financially supported by a call-in service, his real trade is being a major ass on first dates, with the idea being the girl will get so repulsed they will come running back to their former boyfriends. His newest client happens to be his best friend/roommate/decent guy Dustin (Jason Biggs, American Pie) who thinks he's screwed up with sexy colleague Alexis (Kate Hudson, Almost Famous) by awkwardly professing his love to her after only five dates. The problem is, Alexis kind of likes Tank, despite his cock-and-balls obsession, and decides to see him only for sex. Is there any hope for Dustin to win her back?
Soon after My Best Friend's Girl opens, we have a girl slamming her front door in Tank's face, after he takes her home from a dreadful night out. Somehow, he's able to make her open the door again to inquire why she's so upset (contrived character intro #1). She says "F—-- you! Why don't you just die already?" As an audience member, you think, is he really that bad of a guy? Why does she feel this way? Tank is brought into a focus within the first ten minutes. Once the credits started rolling, that girl was the only one I sympathized and agreed with throughout the entire film.
This, my friends, is romantic comedy at its most repugnant and tasteless; the kind of nauseating junk that wants to be crude and sweet at the same time. Instead, it's like eating cookies made out of poop: not funny, not redeeming, and certainly not appetizing!
Where did someone get the idea this guy could pass for an actor? Reportedly, director Howard Deutch (The Whole Ten Yards) let the comedian improvise frequently, which only makes the character's dialogue sound more like stand-up breaks with the primary themes being member erections and vaginal injections. Dane is so brutal and profane with his words and delivery he would make the Masters and Johnson institute blush with embarrassment. Along with Alec Baldwin (Beetlejuice), who plays Cook's college prof dad, they view all women as objects to be f-ed (and f-ed with) as much as possible. Where the hell is Ellen Page's character from Hard Candy when you need her?
As for Biggs, he's just like all the previous guys he's played: insecure, awkward, nice, and ultimately tongue-tied. The result is extremely tiresome, and it doesn't help that his character (the only one who is slightly tolerable) disappears in the second half and re-appears near the end as nothing more than a plot device. Worst of all is Hudson, whose high status in Hollywood may come to a screeching halt. Over the course of eight years, the once-irresistible, Oscar-material actress has reached the nadir of her career, with her Alexis coming off as ignorant to common sense. Case in point: this "smart, classy, professional" girl actually likes Cook's idea of a first date (a downtown strip club) and offers sex before the night is over.
Most of the blame needs to be placed on first-time writer Jordon Cahan. Not only does he fail at telling a cohesive story, but the character's motivations are impossible to buy and the twists are insanely illogical. The worst is the misogynistic attitude which dominates the film, as all female characters are written with zero intelligence, wit, and personality. How profound is this: he makes Baldwin's character a professor of Women's Studies—complete with quotes from Betty Friedan & Gloria Steinem—and a sex maniac who loves to bang his student assistants. Its one thing to be crude solely for crude's sake, but it's another to be crude while also demeaning an entire gender. Mr. Cahan, you ought to be ashamed of yourself!
Lionsgate should be equally ashamed for not only releasing this crap but also giving it special edition treatment on DVD. What we have is the unrated version, which insists on adding 12 more painful minutes to the 1.78:1 anamorphic print. The picture has a greenish look to many of the darker scenes (the editor's vomit, perhaps?), and colors are muted more often than not. Visually, there is something rather ugly which I can't quite explain, but it certainly goes along with the film. We have two audio tracks, in 5.1 Surround sound and 2.0 Stereo, with the former giving a workout to the oft-repeated Cars song which inspired the title. In fact, the sound quality and soundtrack is the best thing about My Best Friend's Girl…something that most Cook fans won't give a baboon's ass about. Subtitles are in English and Spanish only.
The special features, while extensive, are also a waste of time. First up are two audio commentaries (one with Deutch, the other with Biggs, Cahan and Producer Greg Lessans), the latter being the more lively of the two. Deutch is dry and quiet so much it becomes dull. I bailed out of the other track, when they started calling outside people on their mobiles. Next up are four featurettes, all of which are just plain stupid and uninformative. Why is there a five minute piece on a high school prom, when there is only one scene is set there? Why do we have to deal with more of Baldwin's sexism? Finally, we have eighteen deleted/extended scenes, with the only benefit being that editor Seth Flaum showed mercy on the audience.
I didn't give this film as low a rating as other 2008 films, such as Diane English's update of the The Women, which was the worst of the lot. As excruciating as My Best Friend's Girl was, it didn't go so far as wasting any truly talented individuals in front of or behind the camera (not including Hudson, who brought this garbage on herself).
The bad news is Cook's career may not yet be over. The good news is this debacle will fade from memory soon after watching it.
Deutch and Cahan are found guilty of delivering an unholy pile of unfunny
excrement. As for the unforgivably offensive Cook, the court orders him to not
give up his day job. In other words, don't make any more movies, for the love
of all that is sacred!
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