a few years ago, Vince Vaughn took four comedians on a bus tour, doing 30 shows in 30 days. Along for the ride was Justin Long from LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and Peter Billingsley who looks absolutely nothing like he did when he starred in A CHRISTMAS STORY. There was a fun time being had by all.
The preview for this makes it look like a concert film, but that is misleading. It's more of a road trip film and I thought that made it even better. Sure, we get to see some of the comedy acts and skits they all performed during the tour, but the behind the scenes stuff really helped bring this film to a higher level of entertainment.
One scene had Peter Billingsley buying a couple hundred tickets to give away for free to Hurricane Katrina refugees. He and Vince then send the four comedians out to a trailer park where they are to meet with these people who have lost everything in thier lives to the hurricane. These guys are all hung over and complaining about having to do this and bitching about how they're all living in a hotel room the whole way there. When the see how shitty it is to lose everything you own, they wake the fuck up and get a clue that they don't have it so bad. I thought that was pretty cool.
I also liked that we get to know the guys on the tour. We get to see them off stage with thier families and stuff. Ahmed Ahmed, who's the only guy I recognized of the four tells us how his dad wouldn't talk to him for aalmost a decade because he chose to get into showbusiness and when he finally 'made it' his dad called him up and gave him jokes to use. When one guy bombs, he comes off stage saying that it was the audience, not him, and that his performance was a 6-out-of-10, when obviously, he was just having a bad night and he stunk up the stage. The ego on that guy!
If you plan on seeing this, don't expect a stand up film like EDDIE MURPHY RAW or SEINFELD ON BROADWAY. There is much more depth here and it makes the film worth catching.
Rating: B - Not what I was expecting and I glad it had more of a story then just the funny stuff.
So "The Wrestler," directing by Darren Aronofsky and starring Mickey Rourke, won the Golden Lion Award for best film at the Venice Film Festival (story here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080906.