David smells really great, and also I am very bad at sexual intercourse!
So it’s been two weeks since my last review. I hadn’t intended to have a two week gap but I generally couldn’t be bothered, I started a new job and I have moved again (to another area of Leeds), so I didn’t really have the time or the desire to review a film for a while, but after watching a film at the local cinema the other night, I really needed to watch something else.
I went to watch “The Neon Demon”, a film I had no interest in watching before hand, and it hasn’t exited my head since. I’m sure anyone who has seen it will know what I mean when I say “the morgue scene”. That and the final act have stuck with me and it’s now more than 48 hours later.
So to take my mind off of it (don’t get me wrong, I did like it), I scoured the internet for something recent that came out to lighten the mood and I found this comedy. I don’t often review comedies so I thought it’d be a nice change….even if it does look a little bad.
David (Giuntoli) has just split up with Frankie (Syquia), a girl who he was going to marry a few days later. Whilst drinking away his sorrows, his best-man Flula (Borg) tries to cheer him up and eventually comes to the realisation that the two of them should still go on David’s intended honeymoon, a walk through a forest in Oregon.
Despite being initially skeptical, David agrees and intends to use it as research on Lewis and Clarke, the famous explorers, as he hopes to land a role in a new movie about their lives. Flula eases into the hike, whereas David regularly becomes exhausted, and this isn’t helped by Flula constantly acting in an unusual fashion, such as recording the sounds of the forest so he can create a song.
Eventually the pair meet up with another group of hikers, and David falls for Polly (coffee), but Flula’s unusual behaviour continues to irk at David and it puts their friendship at risk.
Has it taken my mind off of Neon Demon?
Well, no. Throughout the entire runtime of “Buddymoon” I was completely disengaged and it felt more like an advert to get people to visit the state of Oregon (which looks beautiful by the way) rather than an actual attempt at a film.
Let’s start with the characters and where better than the main character, David? Now David is a reasonable character in principle, but there is very little development in his throughout the entire run time of the film and you never really get to a level in which you feel sorry for the situation he finds himself in. It’s hinted in a flashback that he is abusive to Frankie and yet it’s rarely addressed again. The character was more suited to a supporting character rather than the lead, and this doesn’t make for a strong start.
Then we get onto Flula, a character that is basically the equivalent of someone who is going begging you to like them, and the film tries to make you find him funny, but he just isn’t. Very little about his character drives you to like him and I wish filmmakers would realise that being zany isn’t necessarily enough to make a character not only likeable, but also engaging. He is very similar to the main character in “Frank”….infact he even copies his attempts to record random noises in order to create a song.
At not one point during the film did I felt like I was getting the most out of either of them as characters, and this is a shame because it’s a missed opportunity for a life-affirming buddy-film, and the comedy throughout feels forced. Nothing about the film feels natural, especially the scene in which David and Flula encounter another man in the woods and the latter goes along with the joke that they have just been married to each other, and in many ways I think the actual character of Flula is the main reason that I never considered this for recommending.
He is basically a stereotype of the German people, such as what he is wearing during the entire trip, his sense of humour and so many other aspects to the character that it makes it genuinely surprising that the actor playing Flula (also called Flula…..seriously, why do filmmakers bother doing this?) is German himself. Whether it’s self-referential mocking I do not know….but what I do know is that it just isn’t particulally funny.
Visually the film is stunning, and the environment is beautiful, but again it often feels like this is intended more as an advert for Oregon rather than a film. You know those scenes in movies in which it’s obvious that there are companies paying their products to be there? Well that’s what it’s like in “Buddymoon”, there are shots that seem to be there simply to say “hey, this is Oregon, please visit us…..please.” I know nothing about the state of Oregon, other than some of the cities that are in it, but it’ll state more than being the setting for a poor film to encourage me to go.
But for me the biggest sin of the movie is that it is just predictable. I was able to accurately state how the film would end before I had even started. It’s very formulaic and just downright easy to call.
An unfunny film that fills 80 minutes of your life and yet offers very little in terms of enlightenment or enjoyment. It’s just kind of there.
The characters aren’t particularly likeable, the story isn’t particularly interesting and the situation is non-engaging. It’s a comedy that tries hard to be different, but it ultimately fails miserably as has very little original ideas or story to it.
If you must watch it, just remember that at least it’s not even an hour and a half long.