The Videogum Movie Club: Year One

By Lindsay Robertson / June 22, 2009

Did you see Year One, the Biblical-times movie starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, this weekend? If so, this is the place to talk about it. Especially because I don’t know how it ends because I walked out of the theater after about 45 minutes! And guess who else walked out, but for totally different reasons? Former SNL actress and current crazy Fundamentalist Christian Victoria Jackson! First, her “review,” then mine.

Year One made Victoria totally cry! Also she went on a date with Judd Apatow in the ’90s:

Well, today I walked out of a Judd Apatow movie crying. It was the scene where the obese homosexual is fortune-telling by looking at the bowels of a sheep that has been sodomized by a person. The movie was “Year One.” I tried to be open-minded as I watched the first 20 minutes of masturbation, fornication, circumcision jokes, continual penis references, bestiality, violence, and Biblical blasphemy. I told myself this was a PG-13 movie and the writers were “lost” so they didn’t know how vulgar they were being. I looked at the ten-year-old and his father sitting next to me. I must be old-fashioned or something. But, then I noticed no one was laughing. No one was walking out either. I was hoping that the crude jokes were flying over the heads of the poor children who were sitting there wide-eyed and innocent. My daughter is 15 and she loves Jack Black and the guy from “Juno,” so I thought we could have a Mom/teenager date. I asked myself, “Vicki, is this movie making you feel good?” Myself replied, “This movie is making me angry, very sad, hopeless, and dirty-feeling.” As the onscreen obese gay man poked at the bloody intestines and told the fifth anal sex joke, I looked at my daughter, and we got up and walked out. I started crying in the parking lot as we walked to our car. I am not from this world. I am an alien. No wonder me and Apatow never hit it off.

I like to imagine Victoria Jackson counting up the anal sex jokes in her little moleskine anal sex joke notebook. NOW, the funny thing is, I only lasted 45 minutes into this movie but both Vicki and I walked out before it was over, and I don’t remember even ONE anal sex joke, though I’m sure there were a few. My problems with this movie were these:

1. It was for kids.
Year One was PG-13, which is a bad sign. PG-13 movies are awful. It’s like the only thing the MPAA censors from PG-13 movies is any kind of originality or sophistication, comedy-wise. I’m no silly-movie snob — I own Grandma’s Boy on DVD — but the funniest thing I saw in this movie was when Jack Black very slowly ate shit in a closeup, and it wasn’t even actually “funny,” it was just uncomfortable, and I looked away. I probably would have liked Year One when I was 14 and all the old jokes were new to me, but I’m not and they aren’t.

2. The Extreme Annoyingness Of JB
Oh, man, you know, I’m just going to say that everyone has their off-movies, and this was one for JB, who is great. He was really annoyingly Jack-Blacky in this one, though. But I’m going to chalk that up to the fact that, this being a KID’S MOVIE, he didn’t really have to stretch his comic muscles. Was Ben Stiller hilarious in the Night At The Museum movies? I have no idea, but if so he didn’t really have to be.

3. The Lack Of Biblical In-Jokes
When I first heard of Year One, I was kind of excited because I thought there would be more inside-Bible stuff, and having grown up a girl version of Rodd/and or Todd Flanders, I thought I would enjoy a raunchy movie with little Bible in-jokes that only someone who still retained a lot of Sunday School information would know. But nope. That was, admittedly, a dumb wish anyway, but aside from the obvious (Cain and Abel, Sodom and Gomorrah), there wasn’t anything along that vein. In fact, the whole movie was just really obvious, gross-out humor.

In short, I asked myself, “Linds, is this movie making you feel good?” Myself replied, “This movie is making me annoyed, very bored, disappointed, and hungry-feeling.” As the onscreen hairy chested gay man made Michael Cera rub oil on his hairy chest, I looked at my watch, and I walked out. I’m sad to say this because there was a lot of great talent involved, but Year One was just a dud. It probably wouldn’t even be funny to a stoned person. (Gasp!) But for real.

So what did you guys think? Did anyone else even SEE it or did they just see The Hangover again or The Proposal “ironically”? Was the last half any better than the first? Did Paul Rudd come back to life after his tiny cameo in the beginning and save the movie?