Klown: Dick Jokes Fall Flaccid
I love a good dick joke as much as the next guy. If you asked me whether hinging an entire movie on a dick joke (or, more accurately, a series of dick jokes) was feasible, however, I’d probably tell you no. Klown, a feature-length adaptation of a long-running Danish TV show that seems to essentially be that country’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, hinges mostly around a series of dick-centric set pieces. While I can certainly appreciate the effort, the final product kind of falls flat (or flaccid, if you will).
The setup is a familiar one (you may have seen it in Peep Show, Role Models, Two and a Half Men or any number of films starring two dudes being dudes): dorky manchild Frank (Frank Hvam) is preparing to go on a canoeing/brothel trip with his horny pal Casper (Casper Christensen) when his harried girlfriend Mia (Mia Lynhe) announces she’s pregnant. Mia doesn’t think that the selfish Frank will be a good father, so Frank takes it upon himself to bring Mia’s chubby, awkward 13-year-old nephew Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen) along for the ride, much to horndog Casper’s consternation.
Cue the drinking, fucking, small-scale destruction and full frontal nudity that comes with the territory. While Hvam and Christensen (who wrote the script) have a great chemistry and even greater sense of go-for-broke spirit, the majority of the film is a pretty low-key and predictable comedy of humiliation from top to bottom; the only thing that sets it apart from its brethren is that it dares to show the appendages and bodily functions that usually stay suggested (and will likely be excised from the upcoming remake starring Danny McBride).
There are a few laughs to be had, and one assumes that the film has more of an impact if you’ve watched six seasons of these characters getting caught with their pants down, but it’s mostly forgettable. I can’t begrudge a country for having its own improv-heavy, embarrassment-heavy sitcom, but as a film (with all the beats and character growth that that implies), it’s a little limp. ■
Klown opens Aug. 24 at Cinéma du Parc