Bright Lights Film Journal

Like Hamlet, only funny! Sort of!

Suppose, just suppose, you woke up one morning and found out your mom was screwing your high-school gym teacher, the guy who harassed and humiliated you and generally made your life a living hell for four long years!

Sounds like a rockin’ five-minute skit for Saturday Night Live, right? But anything more would be overkill.

That seems to be America’s reaction to Craig Gillespie’s Mr. Woodcock, because when I saw the flick I was absolutely the only one in the theater, an experience that I’ve never had before. Even Tank Girl drew a bigger crowd.

There are a few laughs in Mr. Woodcock, some of them even funnier than the title, but they’re few and far between. I guess the definitive Oedipal complex comedy remains to be written.

More, a lot more, on Hamlet here.

An online critic suggests that “the director should GROW a woodcock before he attempts to make anything longer than 30 seconds.” Americans can be so cruel, can’t they?

Amy Poehler, still searching for her breakout role, shows up to do her patented shallow, fucked-up New Yorker routine. Poor Amy! If only she were prettier!