If you thought Paul Blart was the most genius comedy of the last decade, or have a particular affection for all things talking animal related, then this is the film for you. For the rest of the world (including myself), this movie is about as entertaining as you'd expect, by which I mean that there are perhaps ten genuinely funny minutes (I might be rounding up a tad) during the hour and a half running time. According to the credits, five people wrote this movie, but I honestly wish that the person responsible for the opening proposal scene had contributed more, because that might have upped the overall quality from a D to a solid C+.
Well, this is embarrassing. All week I was excited about eviscerating this movie in blog form -- quite literally high on negativity, as I often am -- but when I finally watched it, I actually... kind of liked it. Maybe I was just in a good mood, maybe it was all the sunshine we've been having, maybe I've lost my mind, but the fact remains that I honestly enjoyed Grown Ups. Though I should note that I do seem to be the only one in the world who did.
Over the course of his career, Kevin James has held down a variety of blue collar jobs where wacky things happen. His breakout role was as a delivery guy for a UPS-like company on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens, who puts up with a crew of oddball buddies at work and an exasperating wife and father at home. James later went on to play a fireman that marries his best (male) friend in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and a mall cop who battles a gang of robbers Die Hard-style in Paul Blart: Mall Cop. His latest film, Zookeeper, casts him as... well, a zookeeper that discovers the animals under his care have the power of speech. So far this recipe of "blue collar job" + "wacky stuff" seems to be working out for him. After all, Queens ran for nine seasons and both Chuck and Larry and Paul Blart grossed over $100 million. With that in mind, here are five pitches for James' next big-screen outing. Oh and as an FYI to his agent: We accept royalty payments by cash, check or PayPal.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop has a lot working against it. For starters, it's comedian Kevin James' vanity project, which came about, as James told ComingSoon.net, because he wanted to do something like TV's ChiPs. Nothing wrong with vanity projects, necessarily. But unless you're, say, Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood, taking on a lot of jobs in your own movie might wave a few warning flags. In James' case, he's writing, producing and starring as the titular security guard. In the hands of an experienced craftsman, this is no problem. For anyone else, this kind of multi-tasking might be a sign to the moviegoing public that the star in question is too close to the project to know what's not working. And indeed, the film's attempt at viral marketing over the summer was so unfunny that it might prove to be a vaccine against the film.