International Comedy: Laughter without Borders
Published May 31, 2011It's a little disappointing when a program boasting "comedy" and "laughter" in its title features nothing of the sort, having one mildly amusing short film and an abundance of tedious crap. Of course, some could blame this on the nature of "international comedy," seeing as different cultures find different things amusing (I'm still perplexed by the French sense of humour) or they could just blame it on an overall weak program that you might want to skip.
Kids in the Hall alum Scott Thompson actually stars in two of the shorts featured in this selection, proving mainly that gags about the homosexual fear of aging and gaining weight aren't any funnier with miscellaneous blowjobs and senior citizen sodomy. Although, it's possible that 52 and 4 Pounds will mean more to gay men in their 50s than, you know, everyone outside of that box.
Family First is far more accessible on a universal front despite being exceedingly disturbing, detailing the dinner table announcement of two siblings planning to marry in a romantic capacity. It's a lot of dumbfounded stares and awkward commentary about the revolting notion of them copulating, which is fine but unremarkable.
Capturing Santa is a far stronger short, following a young Irish boy as he plots against the creepy, seemingly criminal Santa Claus, whom he desperately wants to "Feck off." Less amusing, but still somewhat intriguing, is Australian comedy short When the Wind Changes, which shows what happens when two men become connected mentally and speak each other's words. Guess what happens when one guy goes to a business meeting while another one is fucking? That's right: it's craziness!
There's also a tongue-in-cheek documentary about a married couple that lives in separate apartments (Two's a Crowd) and a short animated film about a misbegotten day on the English Countryside (Arts + Crafts Spectacular # 1), which are fine, but nowhere near as surreal and terrible as the Blind Side send-up, The Dark Side, wherein scenes of Sandra Bullock are taken from the film and juxtaposed with Peyton Manning trying to be funny. Word to the wise: football players aren't funny.
And lastly, there's a shitty, pretentious, Wes Anderson wannabe stop-motion animation, Brick Novax's Diary Parts 1 & 2, about international legend Brick Novax, wherein a toy doll runs around trying to be witty but ultimately fails on every count.