Saturday, May 03, 2008

FILM REVIEW: Harold & Kumar 2 + Made of Honor

I know the idea of comparing Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay to Made of Honor is ridiculous, but if you saw H&K you wouldn't think so. Granted, neither of the male leads have been in the top 5 People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" list like MOH's Patrick Dempsey, but both films have men trying to win the hearts of the girl of their dreams, romantic declarations of love, impossibly handsome competition, and a wedding that must be stopped. That's right. The sequel to the cult stoner classic is a romantic comedy.

Don't get wrong. There are still plenty of H&K hijinks. From a bottomless party complete with visible Brazilian waxed vaginas and the lovely song "My Dick" by DJ Kris P. to flashbacks to their college days where Kumar was a math geek who wrote a romantic poem called "The square root of 3" and Harold was an emo goth. The whore house scene, where a woman who called herself Tits Hemingway and bore knockers twice--maybe even triple--the size of Pamela Anderson's serviced the mushroom-chomping, unicorn-hallucinating Neil Patrick Harris a.k.a. NPH, was a sight to be scene. But I'm sure the one that blew everyone's mind--besides the one that involves NPH that you have to see to believe--was the scene where they smoked weed with the President and he griped about his overbearing father. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe the prison sexual harrassment scene was more entertaining for some or even their run in with the KKK. Heck, it was even funny when they mentioned Sloth from The Goonies when they stumbled upon a one-eyed, inbred spawn of siblings. But what will be remembered the most are the endless racist jokes. The Korean language was mocked, African Americans were tamed with grape soda and Kool-Aid, and Jews were bribed with nickels.

So why did they feel the need to add a cliche romantic angle where Kumar has to stop his college girlfriend's (Danneel Harris from "One Tree Hill") wedding to a social climbing douchebag (Eric Winter from "Brothers & Sisters")? They already revamped the romantic template with the first film. It's true that the whole purpose of it seemed like they were just craving White Castle, but it was actually about the power that weed has to give confidence to the doormats of the world, giving Harold the courage to stand up to his superior and ask out his dream girl. This film, however, unsuccessfully attempted to show the evolution of Kumar, explaining who introduced him to weed and who ignited his sexual prowess. If there's a sequel, I hope they stick to the original formula. If I want to see a romantic comedy, I'll go watch something like Made of Honor.

Speaking of which...I'm not as in love with Patrick Dempsey as the rest of America, even though I watch "Grey's Anatomy," so I wasn't keen on seeing this flick. But I was already in the theater, so I figured I'd catch a "double feature." I have to say, it was a lot funnier than I thought it was going to be--and not just the pratfalls. Dempsey's character spends much of the film trying to go toe-to-toe with Kevin McKidd ("Journeyman") for his best friend's (Michelle Monaghan) heart. Dempsey had a well-thought out background, showing that his misogyny originated in college and is nearly genetic, since we meet his father at his 6th wedding. Meanwhile, Monaghan is given the role men usually get in romantic comedies. She is perfect in every way and tolerant of everything he does. This is truly a guy's romantic comedy, complete with "yes"-men bffs, heart-to-hearts during basketball games, and penis jokes. But in the end, he's painted like a knight in shining armor. While it can't compare to the greatest "best friends fall in love" story, When Harry Met Sally, or the latest addition to the best male perspective romantic comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it's at least worth a rental fee.

No comments:

Post a Comment