There are no words to describe how grateful I am that I didn't waste $11 plus the price of popcorn and a soda to see this film in the theater.
Two words: boy movie.
What I was reluctantly hoping for was a Nacho Libre revival...remember, back when Jack Black was still funny? Instead, what I found in Year One was a typically manic performance without substance; a blind attempt at letting the old joke ride...and watching it as it falls off the horse.
Jack Black plays a cave man who eats fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and subsequently gets himself kicked out of his village, followed by sidekick Michael Cera (Juno). All sorts of ridiculously inaccurate biblical parody then transpires amid a gross-out torrent of fart, poop, and hit yer woman over the head jokes.
I thought about turning the film off several times, particularly when Jack Black picks up fresh dung and eats it. I am generally not one to give up on a film, and I made a commitment...a very very long 90 minute commitment. I kept thinking about several friends who had seen the film and recommended it to me as funny...surely there must be something note worthy coming up, I kept telling myself. But alas, no. Eating poop was the highlight for Jack Black.
In keeping with the theme, however, I can find no argument that this film falls into the category of cinema as art. Though there were some notable performances, Oliver Platt as the High Priest, for example. Platt was indeed funny, original, and possessed a wonderful sense of comedic timing.
Film and the people who have been made into celebrity by populating film sometimes exists for only one purpose - to make some money for the studio. By in large we don't mind this, after all these money makers star some of our favorite screen characters, played by our favorite screen actors and all in all we are entertained. I for one like to feel as though I learned something (anything!!), or at least am left with some questions when I finish watching a film. Most of the time, even the films whose primary purpose is to entertain and bring in some revenue manage to say something, either cultural commentary or artistic nuance. Not so with Year One. Maddening, I say, to watch such a film and be so very disappointed by it.
The only plus side of getting a film like Year One on DVD is the outtakes. Those are always funny!