Sunday, March 1, 2009
Hamlet 2: Sometimes Even Catherine Keener Cannot Save You
Okay, I didn't like "Dogma" either. It's not that I'm prudish or can't appreciate a good satire, but "Hamlet 2" bored me, literally to sleep. That's the same way I felt about "Dogma," I realize. Bored. Steve Coogan (he was the little tiny Roman guy in "Night at the Museum") plays a failed actor who is now a drama teacher. But, OH NO! The drama program is in trouble. It's going to be eliminated from the school! Just when a bunch more kids have signed up for drama class, as shop and computer classes have also been eliminated!
So what do we do in a movie, if the drama program is in trouble? That's right. We put on a show to save it! Do we all have to pull together, and overcome our differences, and in the process do we all learn a little bit about ourselves?
I don't know, because right at that point I turned to Dan and said, "I didn't know this was going to be a movie about saving the community center." And then I fell asleep. I also didn't know the movie was going to be about children, or rather 26-year-olds pretending to be children. I also didn't know that Catherine Keener was going to be given such slim material to work on, not that she can't work with less, but still. A little brutal.
Good points in the movie: Elizabeth Shue plays herself, having given up Hollywood to become a nurse. Catherine Keener counts as a good point. She is always hilarious and perfect. Steve Coogan manages to be likeable in spite of the overwrought situation.
To me, it played like a Monty Python skit writ American and writ about a hundred times too long. Coogan definitely seemed to be channeling Terry Gilliam at times, but the character couldn't bear the weight of the entire movie. But then, I didn't watch the whole thing. Maybe I'm letting my bias against movies in which the community center must be saved hold me back from watching a great comedy. What do you think. Should I watch the rest of it?