I haven’t seen a decent movie in weeks. It’s killing me, folks. And when I woke up this morning, knowing I had to sit through Dane Cook’s latest atrocity, all I could think was: I would rather eat deep-fried balls over a taint-flavored pilaf than watch My Best Friend’s Girl. Dane Cook is total anguish, and not worth a cuntful of cold water. Dane Cook is the Ur-Douche, the uberdouche. While other comedians are writing and working their craft, Douche Cook is doing leg presses while talking to his biceps. Dane Cook is the cinematic equivalent of having your penis inverted without any painkillers. He is a walking personification of suck. Dane Cook is like the retarded, inbred abortion survivor of the most hideous creatures from The Hills Have Eyes plus the congealed spirits formed by the shittiness of classic Ed Wood movies. Even Steve Carrell doesn’t like him. And he loves everybody. What does that make Dane Cook? Nobody. He’s like the holocaust of comedy. Only less funny.
Dane Cook is so tangibly loathsome that when he’s out and about, douching it up around the town, puppies lose their cute and fluffy demeanor and bite toddlers without really knowing why, plants stop photosynthesizing in an effort both to commit suicide and to starve that small Dane Cook-sized corner of the world of oxygen, and homeless people think to themselves, “I may sleep in a pool of my own urine every single night, but at least I’m not him.” In fact, I once had a gaping puss filled anal wound that would not heal no matter how many medicated pads I used. I named it Dane Cook. Seriously: Holy fucking, smoking, putrid, steaming knobbers of Hercules! Who in the frak, frell, gorram, shazbot, smeg thought this Cook bozon was funny? Goddamn motherfucking idiot piece of arrg rahr rrr.
And yes. There is a certain beauty in using other people’s material to insult Dane Cook, since in his stand up he uses other people’s material to insult his audience/profession/God.
But here’s the truth, and you have no idea how much it pains me to admit this, particularly after all the collective effort it took to insult Dane Cook. But My Best Friend’s Girl isn’t that bad. Oh, I know! I know! I’m so sorry. Please don’t punish me. I feel like such a traitor to the cause, already. I swear I didn’t roofie myself before walking into the theater and let Dane Cook date emotionally date rape me. But I’ve seen nine out of every 10 romantic comedies to come down the studio pipeline over the last decade, and My Best Friend’s Girl isn’t the worst. In fact, if Dane Cook has made only two funny jokes in his career, and both of those were by accident, they both took place in this movie.
Sang-wich. B.K. Lounge.
Shut-up. I know. You all hate me, don’t you? But believe me, you couldn’t hate me more than I loathe myself now. I want to cock-punch myself in the eye for enjoying the movie as much as I did. But here’s the deal: All of the things that are detestable about Dane Cook, the fact that he’s an impacted load — a mystery meat douchenugget deep-fried in ass sweat and dunked in chauvinistic asshat sauce — is actually what makes him perfect for the role. He plays himself, only he’s given decent material. And in that context, he’s absolutely perfect.
Cook plays Tank, an asshole to the nth degree, whose hobby it is to play the opprobrious rebound guy so that his dates will go back to their ex-boyfriends. He takes his set-up dates to strip clubs, propositions their mothers, and blares a song called “Pop that Pussy” in his car while smoking cigarettes and breaking up with his pretend pregnant girlfriend over the phone. He’s repellent. He makes you want to crawl inside your own ass. He is soul poison. In short: He is Dane Cook.
His best friend and roommate, Dustin (Jason Biggs), is your typical Kinnearean nice guy, who’s in love with his co-worker, Alexis (Kate Hudson). When Alexis doesn’t reciprocate his affection, Dustin hires Tank to emotionally terrorize her and send Alexis racing back to him. The catch: Alexis is in a banging mood, and though she knows Tank is an asshole, she wants to fuck him all the same. Naturally, romantic complications ensue, but in a strange twist of romantic-comedy fate, it doesn’t actually turn into a smushy, ear-cringing, big-speech schmoopie-fest.
I know. I should have my genitalia shot off and tacked to my forehead with a rusty nail for admitting this. But it’s true: Howard Deutch’s My Best Friend’s Girl is to romantic comedies what Bad Santa was too holiday films: A giant, cynical, humanity-sucking fuck you. The comedy is manic, over-the-line offensive, vile and occasionally, hilarious, but it’s never out-and-out stupid. There’s also a certain amount of satire in it. Granted, it could’ve had a lot more fangs to it, but Jordan Cahan’s script takes a few swipes at the traditional romantic comedy without eventually devolving into one. In part, that’s thanks to Dane Cook’s limitations — he can’t play a traditional romantic leading man, so he’s never asked to. He’s an asshole damn near to the very end.
But for those still skeptical, recognize this: Alec Baldwin plays Tank’s father, a chauvinistic women’s studies professor who is as disgusting and vile as his son. In essence, Alec Baldwin also plays himself (and yes: There’s no denying Baldwin is one of the funniest character actors working today, but come on: We can all admit deep down that he’s also one of the douchiest guys on the planet in real life. It’s part of his charm.). And Baldwin is flat-out perfect — a loathsome man you love to despise. Lindsey Caplan — the poor girl’s Zooey Deschanel — is also pitch-perfect as the dirty-mouthed, sex-toy obsessed best friend. In fact, the biggest flaw in My Best Friend’s Girl is not Dane Cook or even the limitations of the genre, it’s both Kate Hudson (typical) and Jason Biggs, who is, indeed, more of a harbinger for terrible movies than is Dane Cook.
It’s entirely possible that I’m just having one of those off days, and maybe I’ve just been brain-fried by so many terrible movies lately that My Best Friend’s Girl succeeds by virtue of not being the worst. But, I don’t think so. I think that My Best Friend’s Girl is so relentlessly misanthropic and so mean-spirited that it’s actually an ideal anti-dote to the traditional romantic comedy. And the fact that you can hate Dane Cook while still enjoying it makes it the best kind of movie, one where you can have your cake and make Dane Cook choke on it, too.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives in Portland, Maine. You can reach him via email, or leave a comment below.
Large portions of this review were also written and inspired by the Eloquents. I am so sorry to disappoint them with something less than an outright pan.My Worldview Just Took a Huge U-Ey
Film | September 19, 2008 | Comments ()