Sunday, November 07, 2010

The King of Comedy (1982)

Well, this is one of those movies that I can’t even properly review, because I didn’t watch the whole thing. Fact is, I only lasted about 25 minutes. Still, I think that says something. This film is so flaccid and boring that I simply couldn’t go on. Robert De Niro acts like a guy who knows he is a great actor and thinks that means he can play a borish schlub without any engaging qualities. Martin Scorcese thinks he can make a movie called “The King of Comedy” and not provide any actual comedy. Maybe they can, but it doesn’t mean I have to watch.

I read several reviews of “The King of Comedy” to see if there would be a payoff if I dove back in, but it sounds like the whole movie pretty much keeps to the tone set in the first half-hour. Annoying, emotionally retarded people engage in boring, overextended conversations. The story is that De Niro’s character, Rupert Pumpkin, lives in his mom’s basement and works a boring job, but he fantasizes that he is going to be a great comedian someday. He is obsessed with getting on a late night show hosted by his Carson-esque idol, played by Jerry Lewis. Apparently Rupert kidnaps his idol in an effort to get on the show. Sounds like a fun premise. Lots of reviewers praise this film, but I notice that none of them are able to bring themselves to suggest that “The King of Comedy” is fun to watch.

I’ll bet you can impress people at a certain type of party by talking about what an amazing, under-rated Scorcese movie this is. Please don’t invite me to that party.

No stars.

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