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This is Brooks's satiric look at a documentary purportedly capturing a year in the life of a typical American family. Charles Grodin, low key as usual, is fantastic as Warren Yeager, the Phoenix, Arizona, veterinarian who is largely passive and ineffectual. He, his wife and two children are easily overwhelmed by the callous Brooks as auteur. There are so many delights to this film that it is hard to name them all so here are just a few.Read more ›
Observe the palpable fear given off by Charles Grodin as he tries to dissuade Brooks from showing the footage of him losing one of his patients (he's a veterinarian, so he loses a horse. Big animals are funnier than little ones.) on the table due to his error. Or check out the "put your couch pillow over your face and scream silently" scene in "Modern Romance" where Albert calls a random woman in his roladex, having just broken up with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Of course, the uncomfortable nature of the scene is intensified by the fact that Albert has just taken two quaaludes before making the call. Watch him confess his love to a woman who he later admits, "I'm not QUITE sure who she is or where I know her from." Wow! A long way from the clever but unassuming takes on the afterlife and the misadventures of a greek muse in the 20th century. The closest he's come in recent films is "Mother," which I had the mis/fortune of seeing with my own mother! What a relief that my own laughs of recognition were covered up by hers, as she related all of the matronly satire to her own mom!Read more ›
Everything he says in this film rings true for todays reality TV craze. If you were told this was made this year, you'd believe it.
This is very likely Albert (Einstein; no really, look it up) Brooks' best film, as a writer, actor, or anything. It is wholly his vision and style of comedy. The film is played dead straight, from the talk about the laborious selection process, to the technical details about the special cameras worn over the cameraman's head, giving them an eerie Big-Brother look. ("Only five were made, only three worked...we have two of those.")
He tracks this family for a year, slowly but surely making their lives an emotional hell, just by being there to watch it. The act of observing an experiment changes the parameters of the experiment, or so the scientific tenet goes. This whole film is an analysis of that theory, as seen through google-eyed glasses.
The Truman Show and EdTV beat Television to the punch by about six months, making a film that was just a hair more ridiculous than what TV was doing. The recently released film Series 7-The Contenders tries to parody the genre as it exists now, and does it well. Brooks did this film TWENTY TWO YEARS AGO. Just let that bounce around your head. Then realize that you have very likely never seen the best satire of today's television ever.
Vinnie, wearing a clown suit and holding a gas can.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd like to write a detailed review, but I don't want to spoil any of the jokes. I'm just going to leave it at saying that one wildly absurd situation after another slings off... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Damian Cain
History will remember this as an amazing forecast of what American popular culture would become.Published 8 months ago by DC99
Very funny satire. Too bad Charles Grodin is in it. Met him before. Not a pleasant person. Kinda ruins the movie for me. The fact that his character's life is destroyed helped.Published 9 months ago by John Gambino
This review is an excerpt from my book "Killer B's: The 237 Best Movies On Video You've (Probably) Never Seen," which is available as an ebook on Amazon. Read morePublished 12 months ago by D. Scott Apel