Made (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Made is the long-awaited new collaboration from the Swingers team of Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn.
The basic premise is that a decent, sensible guy takes an entry-level mob job against his better judgment because he wants to provide for his girlfriend, her daughter, and his clueless best friend.
|It is a unique approach to comedy in that it is a completely serious movie, and every character is completely true-to-life except the clueless best friend, played by Vince Vaughn. Vaughn goes along on the first mob assignment, and manages to bungle everything with his obnoxious and addle-brained behavior. The character is a guy who can't even manage a job sweeping floors, but gets a chance to be a mob guy because his friend "vouches for him".||
obvious from the outtakes that almost all of Vaughn's dialogue was
improvised, and that's mighty dangerous when 100% of the humor was on
his back. That put a lot of pressure on him to be funny. Favreau was
the writer/director, but he obviously gave Vaughn a premise and let
him fly with it. They did dozens of different takes with different
lines, and used the ones that came out best. Vaughn's character is
exactly the same character that Fred Willard always does, and he
creates the scenes with the same improv technique that Willard uses..
Unfortunately, he isn't as funny as Willard, or as economical with his
words. Of course, humor is subjective but, frankly, I rarely
laughed at this movie. Vaughn's character was more irritating than
funny, and his screw-ups were always completely predictable. I did
enjoy watching the outtakes, because it was interesting to see the
different approaches they tried to the scenes, and Vaughn is really
quite good at improvising dialogue in character, even if it isn't
I did laugh out loud once. Vaughn was trying to convince a doorman that he should get into one of those cool clubs where they turn people away, and he was rejected for not being cool enough by the same guy who admitted Screech from "Saved by the Bell" (playing himself). When you're less cool than Screech, it's probably time to drop out of the club scene.
Although the last ten minutes of the film are not funny, I did enjoy the conclusion. The final scenes allowed Favreau to resolve the problem with the mob job and the girlfriend and the girlfriend's daughter, and the film moved much more honestly with a minimum of Vaughn's irritating and constant babble.
Jenteal, the adult film star, appears in this film, marking perhaps the first time she has appeared in a movie without the word "anal" in the title. Big Pussy from The Sopranos is also in the movie, so it scores very high with pussy-oriented viewers.
Writer/director Favreau is a workaholic, and an intelligent guy. This DVD is crammed with the results of his efforts: the entire written script, hours of outtakes and alternate takes, several deleted scenes, a scene editing workshop, and full length commentary by Favreau and Vaughn. He may become a great filmmaker on hard work alone, but he has a long way to go.
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