I hate it when I feel like a movie trailer has lied to me.
I’m not talking about the tragically unfunny comedy where every potentially smile-inducing moment in the film gets loaded into that three-minutes of deception (e.g., any film that begins with “American Pie” and doesn’t end with “American Pie”). I’m fine with that. That’s advertising. I do that on a daily basis.
I’m talking about when you go to a movie expecting one thing and end up getting a complete different genre. Total bait and switch.
It’s even worse when you’re renting the movie for a specific purpose and it fails to deliver. (What? No, I’m not talking about porn.)
Saturday, Corinne and I stopped off on our way home from an exhausting afternoon of finishing up the last little bits of Christmas shopping to pick up a couple of movies. The first one we settled on was a weepy chick flick (My Sister’s Keeper). I was fine with that. But half the reason I was fine with that was because I knew we’d be following it up with a comedy to cleanse the palate afterward.
My Sister’s Keeper was great, by the way – exactly what it was supposed to be. Lots of weepy, relationship-driven angst. A few relatable characters. All neatly wrapped up in a rather interesting moral dilemma. Perfect. The plot didn’t exactly zip along, but it wasn’t supposed to – you already knew where this one was going.
But after that ending I had my heart set on a comedy. Something funny. And hey, what about a comedy about stand-up comedy? Double-funny, right? Let’s get Funny People. Even the title says funny! (Yes, I now recognize the flaw in that logic. I’ve never seen a funny movie about a comedian. Evidently they’re all depressed, neurotic, damaged people.)
Granted, I hadn’t watched the trailer or the ads THAT closely, but I remember chuckling at them. I like Seth Rogan a lot. And I had finally reached a point where I was ready to give Adam Sandler the benefit of a doubt. (For years his only movie I could stand was the fantastic Happy Gilmore.) He’d finally done a few tolerable movies… But Chuck & Larry and this have dropped him back to Waterboy status.
We’re 15 minutes into this movie and I’m figuring out this is a “coming to grips with impending mortality” movie. What the hell? I just finished that. Get on stage and make me laugh, dammit!
Later in the movie the medicine apparently works and he’s cured, but it just goes from “impending mortality” to “issues of morality relating to self-absorption”. I didn’t make it all the way through, so I’m not sure how it ends.
The terrible thing is, I don’t think it was a bad movie. I liked the cast. There were some funny cameos. There were some interesting ethical questions. There were even moments that made me laugh. I’m pretty sure if I’d gone into it looking for a thoughtful, witty, relationship piece, I would’ve really liked it.
But I was counting on a comedy. And this wasn’t it. I’m officially placing this in my Top 3 Most Deceptive Films Ever, alongside the delightful romantic comedy When a Man Loves a Woman and the adorably cute adolescent coming-of-age bit My Girl.
What about you? When did you feel deceived by a trailer?