“The thing about ‘Bucky Larson’ is, it’s an unbelievably bad movie.”
My buddy and I were killing a Sunday afternoon by Netflix streaming another critically reviled movie, “Tommy Boy.” We were talking over it, because, well, if you need total concentration to fully appreciate the trials of Callahan Auto Parts, you’ve ingested more drugs than Chris Farley did on a typical Tuesday.
“But here’s the thing,” my friend continued. “There are two parts in ‘Bucky Larson that made me laugh harder than anything I’ve ever seen in my life.”
I agreed. “I’m not sure if it’s that the badness of the movie that makes the good parts seem better—but when Kevin Nealon says ‘You can tell him that Gary said to EAT MY SHIT,’ I lose it. Every time.”
“I hate it when critics just completely discount ‘shitty’ movies. They have their merits.”
“No, it’s not their fault. ‘Bucky Larson’ really is a terrible, terrible movie. It deserves its goose egg on Rotten Tomatoes. My problem is with the review system itself: Critics evaluate comedies the same way they do ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘The Godfather.’ They don’t take them as seriously, of course, but they review them as full 90-minute films. They discount the quantity of funny three-minute gags. The amount of times you’ll just burst out laughing.
“There needs to be some other type of disclaimer with the comedy review: ‘By the way, if you’re ever kind of drunk and you watch movie, you may think that Kevin Nealon is God.’ Or: ‘If you’re a dick, it’s fun to watch Nick Swardson’s career implode right in front of you.’ Or: ‘If you go into this movie knowing that it will be objectively terrible, you’ll probably find it very funny.’
“Our generation consumes nearly all of its comedy now in three-minute bursts. Or even five-second bursts. Maybe I need to know that a movie like ‘Bucky Larson’ has a Kevin Nealon moment that will enjoyably pop into my head while I’m walking into a grocery store. Maybe I need to know that the movie will make me laugh, like dumb comedies are supposed to do. Not every funny movie has to be ‘Raising Arizona,’ you know?”
“Please. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. I’m trying to watch ‘Tommy Boy.’”
Comedy reviews are broken. Well, broken isn’t really the right word. Critics are just stuck with an impossible task: They’re expected to review a film specifically made for the under-30 set, and they're expected to do this while factoring in their own (older) response and their (older) readers’ opinions.
There should be a disclaimer under each comedy review, a word of encouragement meant for anyone who just want to laugh. Presenting, then, The Lloyd, named after comedy pioneer, and icon of the greatest movie ever, Lloyd Christmas. Do you want to see it in action? Yes, you do.