Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Funny People in Unfunny Roles

I like to laugh and have a good time, but I am also a sucker for dark, quirky or just plain sad movies.  What could be greater than watching people who are usually funny in movies that are decidedly not funny?  It's like my own weirdo version of peanut butter and chocolate (like a Reese's peanut butter cup). Because PB&J is disgusting. Because grape jelly is disgusting. See where I'm going with this?

Anywho, let's start with Will Ferrell.  Seriously funny man.  One of my family's favorite movies is "Elf", mainly because Will Ferrell's Buddy is so believably sweet and naive and unintentionally hilarious.  My four year old, E, loves to impersonate Buddy's first trip on an escalator.  Sometimes she does this on an actual escalator in front of a store full of people.  Awkward.  Will Ferrell's trip to the serious side was in the movie "Everything Must Go".  He plays a down and out alcoholic who loses his wife and job in the same day, and decides to sell everything he owns in a yard sale.  I was kind of surprised how well Will played someone I sympathized with even when he was a real jerk.  I really enjoyed the movie and think Will could do some more serious roles if he wanted.
Everything Must Go (2010) Poster
While Pam on "The Office" wasn't the most obviously hilarious character, I feel pretty confident that Jenna Fischer is a pretty funny lady.  Anyone who can balance out Steve Carell probably has some comedy chops. "The Giant Mechanical Man" is a great example of the odd, quirky movies I like.  If you don't like this movie, you will probably hate my taste in entertainment.  "The Giant Mechanical Man" is one of those stories where a character is so down trodden, I want to jump through the screen and shake her and say, "Stand up for yourself, lady!".  And then she does, and all is right with the world. Jenna's character, Janice, is a bit of a lost soul trying to find her way when she meets another kindred spirit.  This story of finding your own way, even if the path is outside the norm, just warmed my cold little heart.  : )
The Giant Mechanical Man (2012) Poster
John Krasinski, another veteran of "The Office", did not fare as well.  I really wanted to like "Nobody Walks", I really did. John plays Peter, who agrees to help an aspiring film maker finish her art film.  Maybe I too deeply associate John Krasinski with Jim because more than once I thought, "Jim! What are you doing!?", or maybe the movie just wasn't that great.  I can't really say a whole lot about it without giving away spoilers; to be honest, not much happened in this movie.  I will say Peter makes poor choices and I like Jim much better.
Nobody Walks (2012) Poster
Now that I think about it, Will Ferrell was technically on "The Office" for at least a few episodes.  Hmm, that was completely unintentional.  Do you like seeing funny people in serious roles, or does it just weird you out?


  1. I haven't seen any of those movies but will have to check them out. This reminds me a bit of "Spanglish", which stars Adam Sandler (among others). I think he had more comedic success on "SNL" than in most of his movies, but in "Spanglish" he does a surprisingly good turn in a serious role.

    1. Did you ever see him in "Punch Drunk Love"? It seemed about 50/50 whether people liked it or hated it, but I thought he did a nice job in a serious role. I have not seen "Spanglish". I also saw a movie coming out with Steve Carrell where he allegedly plays a jerk boyfriend. That could be interesting.