Sunday, September 24, 2017

Movie Review: THE LAYOVER

Of all the films I watch in any given year, comedies are usually the ones that I disagree the most with other critics.  I seem to be able to give a much leaner pass to comedies as long as they actually make me laugh.  In 2017 alone, there have been some comedies that got panned by critics and audiences that I actually enjoyed, namely CHiPs and Baywatch.  These two films got slammed hard in the reviews, but when I went to watch them, I had a damn good time with both.  The same, however, cannot be said for the latest William H. Macy directed film, The Layover.

When I first saw the trailer for this film, if you can even call it a film, I thought to myself “This really doesn’t look very good”, and that right there was a bad sign for me, because if the trailer can’t get me to laugh, then the movie will probably have a tough time doing so as well.  The trailer made it look like it would be on the level of the American Pie or National Lampoon’s DTV spinoffs, little substance, but lots of nudity and gross/shock value humor.  The Layover definitely had some gross/shock value humor, however, none of it really hit.  I’m not sure exactly why some of these scenes fell as flat as they did, but nonetheless, they did.  The only other thing that may have saved this movie for some people, though even this couldn’t have salvaged it for me, was some nudity.  We have two very beautiful, well-endowed lead actresses in Alexandria Diddario and Kate Upton, but you never once see either of them nude.  I feel like the trailer tried to convince you that it would happen, but instead sold you a bill of false goods.  Instead, we get one very poor sex scene between the lead guy and Diddario, and Diddario leaves her clothes on.  This is one of the most ludicrous, unrealistic sex scenes I’ve seen, because there is no way, in an R-rated comedy, she should still have her clothes on.  But I digress.

If some bad comedy and lack of nudity was all that was wrong with this film, I might be able to give it a pass, but there’s more.  Diddario is one of those actresses that seems to take bad roles, such as the aforementioned Baywatch.  That’s two comedies for her this year that just got panned.  She should really look into finding a new agent.  She has the chops to do better, but when you are given a horrible script and paired with someone I would barely consider an actress, there’s not much you can do.  She and Upton had almost passable chemistry, and if it had been just about anyone other than Kate Upton, it may have worked better.  The lead guy, played by Matt Barr, was a bit wooden to me, and these three leads were 100% overshadowed by all of the secondary and tertiary characters that popped up throughout the film.  With such great talent as Matt Jones, Kal Penn, Rob Corddry, and Molly Shannon popping up in the background, it’d be difficult for many people to shine, but when the talent level just isn’t there, and the script is horrendous, there was really no saving it.

The shining star of the film for me was Matt Jones, who played lovable loser Craig.  He was able to really show his strengths during the only part of the film that I actually found to be enjoyable – the road trip scene.  This is really the only time that I found myself smiling and laughing.  The four of them actually showed a glimmer of good chemistry, and it gave me hope for the second half of the film, but once they reached the gas station, it all went right back downhill.

This was one of the most disappointing films I have ever had the displeasure of watching.  As I said before, I give quite a bit of leeway to comedies, but even I couldn’t give this one a pass.  So, in the end, I just can’t recommend this film to anyone.  Do yourself a favor and skip this one completely.  If you want a romantic comedy, go watch The Big Sick instead, you won’t regret that one.

The Merc's Score: 3/10

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