By: Fabio Di Leo
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are the best comedic writers of this young 21st century. Was my statement bold enough? Absolutely. But more importantly like their movies, it is the honest truth. Now, I would like you to think about your favourite comedy of the last ten years. If you do not consider one of Rogen’s to make your list, please share why in the comments below because I cannot fathom it. I imagine some people have a problem with their crass humour. Perhaps they don’t see that beneath all of the vulgar jokes and crude language, there is unadulterated honesty.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t explain my emotions with my best friends in quiet polite tones. We aren’t civil to one another. We swear, we curse, we make inappropriate jokes, because that is how we feel. That is what we find funny. And more importantly that is what makes us human. Rogen and Goldberg write about what they know. They create characters (be it extremely exaggerated ones) that we, as humans, relate to. We adore these characters as we root for them and laugh at their ridiculously honest and crude antics. Their new film, The Interview, is as honest and crude as the rest of them.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to watch an early screening of the The Interview, Rogen and Goldberg’s directorial follow up to their hilarious apocalyptic comedy This Is The End. For those of you who are unaware of the premise, it goes like this: TMZ/MTV-style reporter Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) land an interview with Kim Jong Un (a hilarious Randall Park) after they hear Kim is a fan of their show. As the duo prepares to depart, they are contacted by a pair of CIA agents (a fantastic Lizzy Caplan, and Reese Alexander) who are planning an assassination on the North Korean dictator. They require Dave Skylark to assassinate Kim Jong Un during their interview.
Rogen and Goldberg have directed the film in a way that can make it feel like a political drama, but the contrast of tones (comedic and dramatic) make the movie feel deeper than it should be. The movie is aesthetically appealing, and it helps reinforce the idea that Rogen and Goldberg are learning to become better directors. There is a serious tone, beneath all of the hilarity, but as usual with these two, they deliver it in a crude, irreverent manner, that includes a bombardment of absurd and hilarious jokes. The bromance theme is very much alive, but not so much between Franco and Rogen. Kim Jong Un and Dave Skylark form an interesting relationship that drives the comedy to even more stomach wrenching and incredibly funny lengths. The musical score is terrific and, similarly to This Is The End, it drives many of the scenes. In fact, their choice of music creates a juxtaposition of character and song that just adds to the fun.
There are a lot of things being shoved up asses, metaphorically and physically, including an obscene amount of gay jokes, and endless penis jokes (“Let’s just say I’ll be giving him something with my hand”). Still, for one hour and 51 minutes, there was a lot of uninterrupted genuine laughter from the entire theatre I was in. Ultimately that’s what Rogen and Goldberg’s movies should be judged on: their ability to allow us to forget our problems and remind us that we should not take ourselves as seriously as we do. As the film teaches us, we are all just a bunch of veiny penises, waiting to be stored in Seth Rogen’s Ghostbusters’ lunchbox.
Rogen and Goldberg have now become unlikely veterans of the comedy genre. They’ve learned the difference between what they can do, what they should do, and more importantly what they want to do. They have learned from their mistakes (well, from Rogen’s visible The Green Hornet/The Guilt Trip mistakes) and have stuck to writing their utterly genuine but offensive bromantic comedies. Don’t get it twisted though, the reason the two are so confident with their jokes is because they are equally confident with themselves. The gay innuendoes and penis jokes exist because they understand that the best way to shake the haters (homophobes and racists) is to make them feel super uncomfortable while making self-inflicted inappropriate jokes. Or, as Dave Skylark would say,“They hate us, cuz they aint us!”
The Interview is in theatres Christmas day. Pick up your dick and go watch it. It’s seriously awesome.