|I Liked It|
This movie is nothing new, and it is fine with that and it doesn’t care if you are or not.
If this movie wanted to really blow me away it would have mentioned how it was also similar to the far superior movie Rodger Dodger, which is also streaming, and is a great movie. The plot of Rodger Dodger centers around an older man teaching his younger nephew tips and theories on the best ways to pick up women, which is what How To Be A Man turns into – to very little surprise. The minute the young kid is hired to man the camera for the main character it’s pretty obvious where the story’s going.
From the first few minutes of How To Be A Man (HTBAM), with the character talking to the camera and then standing to show his penis, you know that for the most part things in this movie won’t be terribly funny – unless you think that kind of stuff is funny. I ain’t got nothing against the man’s penis, just the set up for the joke was so obvious that it stops being funny. It’s gotta be pretty funny if you’re expecting it – and it happens – and you still laugh – that’s something funny. This guy’s penis ain’t that funny, nudity in general ain’t that funny with such a long set up. The opposite of this is later in the movie when the guy and his young twenty something camera man approach a group of kids who are picking on a lone boy – the kids instantly attack the older man and his camera man, and it is so quick with such a brief set up that it is very funny.
The movie does at times make you laugh, just not nearly as enough as it wants to.
|I'm not just saying this because I have|
a thing for girls with glasses, but she
can totally beat up Elizabeth Berkley
The main flaw with the movie that weighs down any positive is the forgiveness that is given the main character for cheating on his pregnant wife – all just because he thought he was dying. The wife is someone who steals the show every time she’s on the screen, so to have her character suddenly no longer as strong as she is in the rest of the movie is really rather jarring. Throughout the movie, though, the main character guy is believable in how stupid and idiotic he is that when he gives his reason for why he thought he was dying it’s pretty believable that yeah, I could see a guy like that thinking and acting in that way. He’s a moron who takes everyone around him for granted, totally believable – it’s just not believable that his wife would put up with it.
I wanna talk about Roger Dodger.
|I Loved It|
I saw Roger Dodger when it came out to rent back in 2002; I saw it because Campbell Scott is a great actor and because he was in the stellar The Spanish Prisoner, and because of that I will forever see anything with the man in it, and it just so happens that it was Jesse Eisenberg’s first movie. Depending on your feelings towards Jesse I think that will determine your taste towards this movie – but it shouldn’t. He’s a cocky dick head? He’s a great actor? Either way, this was made before people had any opinion on him at all, and after this movie – that was the only opinion you had on him – I don’t think anyone would have a negative thought about him. He is amazing in this movie, taking a back seat to Campbell Scott’s trainings and tips on how to pick up women and just be an all around weasel with women.
It sounds dull, but the acting and the movie is fast and the acting is great and the characters are interesting. The stand out for me was Elizabeth Berkeley who shows in this movie that she can act. She doesn’t have a large part, but what she does have in this movie she completely makes it hers and almost steals the movie from the male leads. She is a breath of fresh air with her familiarity while at the same time being someone completely new because she seems to be so at ease in this movie playing her character. She is like a guiding light for everyone in this movie, but everyone seems to be lost in their characters, no matter how small.
I think both movies are a testament to the importance of the characters surrounding the main characters. They are supporting characters for a reason, and in movies like these I don’t think it’s an accident that the key supporting characters are women. In both instances, it’s the women in these movies that make the main characters not just likable, but believable, and even enjoyable. Elizabeth Berkeley’s character may be in the movie for only a fraction of the time, but she is there long enough to make us enjoy the men we’re spending time with – even though we really shouldn’t be enjoying them – and she has enough presence (possibly dare I say talent? Yes I do say it and I don’t care who knows! I say because of this movie I feel Elizabeth Berkeley can act, and can do a pretty damn good job of it at that.) and talent to make it look natural – which I believe is what makes her so beautiful in this movie. Unlike the writing of HTBAM which makes the main character’s wife suddenly have an unbelievable change of heart – did I mention she was pregnant? Can you imagine the emotions and hormones going on at that time, and she just suddenly takes her cheating husband back? If this ain’t a sci-fi fantasy, then this ain’t happenin’.
Roger Dodger may be missing the few jokes that How To Be A Man has, but Roger Dodger has so much more heart and sincerity that it puts the other movie to shame. You want to watch a movie about life? About an older man trying to teach important life lessons to his younger friend? Watch both of these movies – but definitely take notes during Roger Dodger.