Sunday, September 14, 2008

'Rock Me, Sexy Jesus' and other sacrilegious items



Back from my hiatus to confirm that Hamlet 2 is a movie worth seeing. Not only is it a great way to hold on to the last vestiges of summer and its movie season, it's irreverent good fun starring Steve Coogan [also seen in Tropic Thunder, a laugh-til-you-cry movie] for anyone who's had to endure high school drama from either the audience or in rehearsals. Rotten Tomatoes gives Hamlet 2 a 63% rating, but I think that's a bit harsh.

Hamlet 2 is the story of a failed actor turned drama teacher in Tuscon, Arizona. As school budget cuts threaten Dana Marschz's theatre program at the local high school where he's decided to work in order to support himself and his wife, played by Catherine Keener, the love interest in The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Dana's stage adaptation of hits like Erin Brockovich are consistently panned by the audience and the incredibly school paper's astute 12 year-old critic. The way to save drama? Write an original musical. From the depths of Dana's soul, we get Hamlet 2, a musical where a time machine and Jesus help Hamlet go back in time to save all the characters.

Steve Coogan's performance is hilarious; he plays the drama teacher in all the exaggeration and emotional imbalance I came to love [and fear] in my insane high school director. The supporting cast was great as well. None of them are famous, with the exception of David Arquette and Amy Poehler, but that may change soon. Joseph Julian Soria plays the pain in the ass Latino high school student you see in every hackneyed 'Dangerous Minds' remake but with a twist and he's gorgeous. Delightfully kissable lips.

The thing about Hamlet 2 is that we don't actually get to see very much of Hamlet 2. Throughout the movie, we get references to all the twisted things Dana Marschz puts in his play but we never see it in all its ridiculousness. Suffice it to say, though, that the idea of a Hamlet 2 is absolutely ridiculous and after the original and 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead' there's really nothing left to be done in the way of Hamlet. Another classic work may have been more ripe for spoof and ridicule [Catcher in the Rye, perhaps? God, Holden Caulfield is irritating]. Outside of the play within the movie, the film is constant laughter with one racist, sacrilegious, sexist, or just plain vulgar moment after the next. All of this was underscored for me because I made the mistake of taking a Catholic to see it. Oops. Like a good Christian, she forgave me and we're still friends.

1 comment:

  1. Girl I'm so glad you blogged about this! I've been timidly excited about this movie....now I'm gonna go see it!!

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