We try to see a movie a week; once in a great while it is two films. Last Friday, the usual film night, we headed to Sundance to see Greenberg, the rather serious film with Ben Stiller in the title role. Stiller can act. The problem is Greenberg is a dud.
There is no law that every film about a neurotic Jew needs to be funny or meet the standards of Woody Allen. It is required that films not only be well acted, but they be well written with characters that are interesting, whether we like them or not.
To make up for it, I suggested on Saturday night that Sara and I see Hot Tub Time Machine. On the way to the decidedly non-intellectual and musty Star Cinema, Sara advised me that she would do great bodily harm to moi, if I selected two bombs in a row.
Hot Tub Time Machine is a glorious silly film with juvenile humor and it has a far more profound message than Greenberg, whatever it is.
It has the usual array of gross jokes, most of which are original and funny. The inside references to Back to the Future make you feel rewarded for watching that movie more than once.
Any film that successfully pulls off the hackneyed foiled suicide attempt and blown sex scene along with a running gag where the both the cast and the audience are waiting for the bellhop to lose his arm deserves serious attention.
We left the theater, Sara telling me I would be OK. Someone should tell Robert Redford to dump Greenberg and to book the more creative, better directed, and far superior Hot Tub Time Machine.