A Futile and Stupid Gesture. Mitchell Haaseth/NBC/Getty Images. I ask this right away because A Stupid and Futile Gesture is a biographical comedy/drama about Douglas Kinney, the comic mastermind who co-created the National Lampoon and co-wrote Animal House and Caddyshack. It's way too reverent a portrait of the irreverent men of the National Lampoon. Forte, Wain, and the rest of the cast do their best to honor the icon, and the result is an extremely fun meta-comedy. |, October 10, 2018 He left Henry, alone, to carry the load of making sure the magazine went out on time, making sure to manage all the egos with all the writers, the lack of any upward mobility in terms of economic stability (since, at this point, Matty still hasn't bought them out). |, February 8, 2019 So when Joel McHale was invited to play a younger version of Chase in A Futile And Stupid Gesture… "I was like, 'Holy shit, who is this guy? ", McHale is more modest: “I don't know why David thought of me, other than he might've guessed that Chevy and I were the same height." Naturally, of course, the magazine starts picking up steam and you get to see the rewards of that success. Unfortunately, the film never does much more than scratch the surface. Additions of Joel McHale as Chevy Chase are spot on while other portrayals like John Gemberling bear nearly zero resemblance to John Belushi outside of size and first name. This doesn't last long, and fast forwarding a bit, he ends up pitching Animal House to Universal, who, begrudgingly, agreed to finance the movie. ", But he also emphasizes, "When they cut the show together, he popped off the screen… People would say, 'That's Chevy being Chevy,' and I'd agree with that. He would definitely… let that be known. Well, on Thursday’s Late Show, McHale spoke with Stephen Colbert about his recent, pretty much inevitable turn as the 1970s-era Chase in David Wain’s Netflix biopic A Futile And Stupid Gesture. Joel McHale as Chevy Chase (Photo: Netflix) The result is that Gesture is a movie that lurches back and forth between satire and sincerity. Wain glosses over too much on both sides due to his need to jump back and forth between Lampoon and Kenney, especially over the back third of the movie when a deeper character study was needed to show just how disturbed Kenney became. McHale's past projects include "The Happytime Murders," as well as "A Futile & Stupid Gesture," opposite Will Forte, in which he played Chevy Chase, his former "Community" co-star. Coming Soon. You don't necessarily even have to die for this to be the case, but people more often than not remember those who passed away at the peak of their creative (or commercial) success. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. The percentage of users who rated this 3.5 stars or higher. It’s probably somewhat difficult to spend four years working on 84 episodes of a TV show with someone without acquiring a certain respect, or at least fondness, for that person—even if that person is the notoriously difficult-to-work-with comedian Chevy Chase. "If you read his interviews about the show, he didn't like the hours, and he didn't wanna be there that long. Sign up here. There's more to this Futile and Stupid Gesture than a line-up of celebrity impressions. Everything is there to destroy his career. A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. I knew nothing about National Lampoon's origins or Doug Kenney prior to watching this. Because of these insecurities, Doug turned to alcohol. I wouldn't call this film laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it does make you chuckle consistently from beginning to end thanks to Will Forte's fantastic portrayal of Kenney. Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase in National Lampoon biopic Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase in National Lampoon biopic The actor-comedian is in final talks for Netflix's 'A Futile and Stupid Gesture' and when he leaves the theater, realizing that the movie he saw was a classic, he pities himself, feeling that it's over for him. Of course, if you know how the real story played out then you know that's not gonna be the case, but you're still invested in him. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy |, January 29, 2018 20-03-2018. The film had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on January 24, and was released on Netflix on January 26, 2018. The movie, very cleverly, uses an older version of Kenney to tell his story and there's plenty of times when they break the fourth wall with Martin Mull (the older Kenney) interjecting himself in scenes that play out in the 70s or 80s. Again, his insecurities are on full-display here. SNL succeeded because it had the right cast with the right humor at the right time and that can't be attributed to National Lampoon, but they definitely showcased a spotlight on a different style of humor that would be popularized in the coming decades. And this is where the movie gets a little predictable in its portrayal of how drugs destroyed a promising career and forced a talented comedic writer on a downward spiral that, ultimately, he would never recover from. Don't have an account? There's the obvious biographical cliches and those do hold the movie back. All the others died at the age of 27, which sparked a conspiracy theory (because of course it did) concerning as to why these important figures in music died at the same age. After stretching himself creatively thin over various different outlets (radio, live performances, albums, the magazine itself), Doug is completely burnt out and he just walks out on his partner and fellow writers. A Futile and Stupid Gesture 2018 16+ 1h 41m Movies Based on Real Life In a life full of triumph and failure, "National Lampoon" co-founder Doug Kenney built a comedy empire, molding pop culture in the … But for McHale, the challenge was real: No matter how much time he’d had to observe Chase’s verbal and physical peccadillos up close, he didn’t want to just imitate him. When I sit down with Joel McHale to talk about his new film A Stupid and Futile Gesture—which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this week before debuting on Netflix Friday—I … When I ask McHale about those stories, he's the very definition of diplomatic. But I sent him a link, and I'll be very curious to see what he says." A Futile and Stupid Gesture feels like a quick tour of a man's greatest hits that relies on his accomplishments, rather than any storytelling artistry, to impress the audience. I was very excited to jump in. The first half or so of the film deals with Doug and Henry's struggles to get the magazine up and running and how, at first, they struggle to break even on the magazine. |, August 14, 2018 And I feel that this is where the beginning of the end comes for Doug. It's funny and, for what it's worth, makes complete sense in terms of how it throws at us the attitude it is meant to represent and seemingly remember. Joel McHale portrays Chevy Chase, Jackie Tohn plays Gilda Radner, … Because, apparently, there can't be room for more than one successful comedy movie at one time. [Full Review in Spanish]. Because he does things that, really, make him look like an asshole, but you still root for him to find his way back to sobriety again. Wain concurs: "We knew that we wanted it to be in that mold based on the fact that Doug Kinney himself was a rule-breaker, and that we want to be rule-breakers.”, But few things in the movie are as self-aware as casting McHale as Chase—though Wain insists it wasn’t stunt casting. A number of episodes centered on McHale's character fearing he would become like Chase's one day. |, July 31, 2019 A move that, if nothing else, shockingly abandons the traditional rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-redemption four-part trajectory to which nearly every biopic slavishly adheres. This movie focuses on what some would call a comedy genius, as far as writing was concerned, in Doug Kenney. A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a 2018 American biographical comedy-drama film, based on Josh Karp's book of the same name, directed by David Wain, and written by Michael Colton and John Aboud. Definitely an entertaining, if unessential, watch. Animal House, at the time, became the most successful comedy of all time. They won't be able to see your review if you only submit your rating. I say this every time: Dan has to write the script, and then all the actors have to be available. But he wasn’t familiar with Kenney’s background or influence until producers Jonathan Stern and Peter Principato brought him Josh Karp’s book A Stupid and Futile Gesture (which takes its title from one of Animal House’s many quotable lines). In a lot of ways, this story really is a sad one, because, again, Doug was never able to come to terms with his own level of success. Stupid: For sure. The film stars Will Forte as comedy writer Douglas Kenney, during the rise and fall of National Lampoon. It is a very interesting proposal to understand a little better the whole process that may be behind the comedy genre. But, of course, this is really where the downfall for Doug starts. |, December 21, 2018 "I just thought he was so impressive, and I've been a fan of what he'd done before. Abominable Pictures, All 42 Fresh Movies and Originals Coming to Netflix in January, February 6, 2018 Just confirm how you got your ticket. Joel McHale has signed on to play comedy icon Chevy Chase in Netflix’s “A Futile and Stupid Gesture,” the biopic on National Lampoon co-founder Douglas Kenney.. Will Forte will play … A Futile And Stupid Gesture is, ultimately, anything but pointless, exploring an important moment in pop culture through the life of a man who captured its essence as well as the people who made him an institution. I'm obviously glossing over a lot of the film in this review, but I'm going over, what I feel, are the most important bits. The actors and people in this film is amazing but they never dig that deep or provide a lot of backstory, the film needed to be another 40 minutes longer. “He was very happy that Doug Kenney, who was his best friend at the time, is finally getting the due that he deserves. Coming Soon. "It vaguely rang a bell from having watched Caddyshack and Animal House 7 billion times, but I didn't know really who he was,” says David Wain, alum of The State and director of Wet Hot American Summer (and its various Netflix offspring) as well as films like Wanderlust and Role Models. Joel McHale and Emmy Rossum share some fun stories about the making of Netflix's ‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’, their memories of National Lampoon, what it was like for McHale to play … Once he returns, he forces Matty to buy them out, finally giving Doug and Henry the money they deserved for making the Lampoon into a behemoth, but eventually Henry quits, feeling unhappy at everything that has transpired. You could make the argument that people like Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and those types of guys are what National Lampoon would look like in the modern era. "I always saw him as a legend, so it's easy to separate my personal relationship with him and go, 'Right, this is the guy that I knew growing up.’ I knew every word to Fletch, I watched Modern Problems, Vacation, and European Vacation endlessly, and obviously SNL. This 10-digit number is your confirmation number. Whispers from the set of Community indicated that Chase was not exactly the most beloved member of the company; indeed, Chase himself frequently voiced his unhappiness with the show and the way it used him. Joel McHale Might Play Former Co-Worker Chevy Chase in ‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 by Jack Giroux Talk about life coming full circle. Do you think Will Forte looks 27?”, "We wanted to pay homage to the magazine, and the sensibility of that," Principato explains. "I called him last week ,and it was like, 'The movie's done, and I hear it's great.' Writer Doug Kenney co-founds National Lampoon magazine in 1970. comedy, '” Wain recalls. Never, he was always looking forward and trying to find ways to top himself. ", (To the unavoidable question about whether we'll ever get the "and a movie" half of the #SixSeasonsAndAMovie Community equation, McHale insists, "I want there to be. Cinemark A Futile and Stupid Gesture is the story of comedy wunderkind Doug Kenney, who co-created the National Lampoon, Caddyshack, and Animal House. | Rating: B+ | Rating: 3/5 2018 TV-MA 1h 41m Comedies. Joel McHale and Chevy Chase on the set of NBC's "Community." Like I mentioned, Forte does a great job as Doug, but the supporting cast is very strong. |, February 5, 2018 His directives to himself were simple: "Don't do an impression. We all just were blessed when he walked on that set and he was Chevy. By opting to have your ticket verified for this movie, you are allowing us to check the email address associated with your Rotten Tomatoes account against an email address associated with a Fandango ticket purchase for the same movie. You're almost there! For those unfamiliar with the details, there's a neat narrative curve ball in the final act. Joel McHale Photos - Joel McHale attends the "A Futile And Stupid Gesture" Premiere during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 24, 2018 in Park City, Utah. At Deadline's Sundance Studio, director David Wain joins Joel McHale, Domhnall Gleeson, Emmy Rossum and Tom Lennon to discuss the film. “I knew that Doug Kenney, was the guy who played Stork." ", Not that Wain took leave of his satirical sensibilities: A Futile and Stupid Gesture isn’t a Walk Hard–style parody of biopics, but it's aware of the conventions and frequently breaks with dramatic norms to send them up. Your AMC Ticket Confirmation# can be found in your order confirmation email. The film is interesting but never goes to the depth it should, you tend to leave with the empty feeling of not receiving a real bio experience. I enjoyed the film but didn't love the film, I liked the style of the film with the lampooning style but it lacked a lot depth to really set itself apart. Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily. Coming Soon, Regal I still talk to him! David Wain, director of famed comedies such as Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models, is asked to tackle a biopic of unsung comedian Doug Kenney, founder, creator, and life of National Lampoon. The sometimes goofy and oftentimes playfully irreverent retelling of Doug Kenney's life story seems to fit the man well. Just below that it reads "Ticket Confirmation#:" followed by a 10-digit number. It's cool seeing all these comedy legends (Belushi, Murray, Radner, Ramis and Chase) all grow together as performers under the same 'system', as it were and seeing where they would go post-National Lampoon. Doug did this on his first try. | Rotten (14). According to The Hollywood Reporter, McHale is in final talks to join the Netflix-produced film, titled A Futile and Stupid Gesture. He basically ditches Henry to go on a six-month sabbatical to clear his mind and, maybe, come back to the Lampoon with renewed vigor and passion. I'm sure the book this is based on and the Lampoon documentary give better insight into their history, but this is a good complement to that. A Futile and Stupid Gesture is plenty watchable, well-paced with a few solid bits. | Rating: 3/5 This is only 40 minutes into the film, mind you, so you're curious how they're gonna follow all of this up. Will Forte stars as Kenney, but Martin Mull co-stars as the older, wiser man Kenney never became, wandering through scenes and breaking the fourth wall to offer up wry commentary like, “Yeah, so these actors don’t look like the real people. While the movie is flush with one liners, packed with an assortment of famous comedians portraying other comedians, and a real story worth telling, A Futile and Stupid Gesture is too self aware and stuffed with too much information to really drive home any particular point. Will Forte does a great job as Kenney and he makes him an insufferably empathetic character. One of his frequent collaborators and best friends was Chevy Chase, whom McHale plays in the movie—and McHale and Chase spent four years working together, somewhat contentiously, on Community. Your Ticket Confirmation # is located under the header in your email that reads "Your Ticket Reservation Details". | Rating: 5/10 Doug always tries to play everything off as a joke, he's always looking to drop in an one-liner. When McHale … |, April 16, 2019 I just think a story like this is better served being delivered as a documentary with personal tales from former members of the Lampoon brand instead of this meta delivery Wain gives us. National Lampoon's creation and its output, from stage shows, to albums, to radio shows and (of course) the magazine definitely helped kick-start Saturday Night Live, who took many of Lampoon's sketch performers and writers as members of its cast and writing crew. We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your email. SNL is still in the air as we speak. Hardly. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Please reference “Error Code 2121” when contacting customer service. The fact that his magazine was influential in getting SNL on the air wasn't relevant to him, what mattered to him was that, he felt, that SNL was stealing his writers and his comics. ", McHale also reasoned that he was playing a different man than the one he already knew. ', The Best Netflix Movies to Watch When You’re Stoned. Nothing ever satisfied him. |. A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018) Trivia. There are no approved quotes yet for this movie. It would be great to be in, and I'd love to do it."). Please click the link below to receive your verification email. Will Forte is perfect. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. Though, admittedly, the latter was in his early 60s when he committed suicide. That wasn't hard to connect to. You know, there's a thing that people often associate with geniuses, whether they be literary, musical or comedy geniuses, that they're tortured souls that flame out way before their time. When I sit down with Joel McHale to talk about his new film A Stupid and Futile Gesture—which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this week before debuting on Netflix Friday—I have one question right off the bat: Does Chevy know? He's smart, and a real actor. If someone was looking to get more information about Lampoon and how it came to be, A Futile and Stupid Gesture is certainly a good start to understand just how wide of a net the comic magazine cast in its early days in the 70's. For a deeper understanding about the brand an the man who started it all, deeper research is needed. I'd still say this was an enjoyable movie with an influential, but tragic, lead character. Do you think I looked like Will Forte when I was 27? ... A Futile and Stupid Gesture The problem is I was so entertained by learning about how Lampoon became a comedic powerhouse (and the influence it had on the rise of other comedic drivers like SNL) that I nearly forgot toward the end of the film that this was still a movie about Kenney. People like Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Ernest Hemingway immediately come to mind. “He's basically the starting stone of all this stuff…It also was an opportunity to tell a real story about a real life that has dramatic elements and opportunities to stretch as a filmmaker. For some reason, I still can't peg Gleeson, and I'm still weary of his casting in most things. |, January 26, 2018 And, I'm fairly certain that the Seth Rogens of the world and such idolize the Lampoon style of comedy. You and me both, Joel. The percentage of Approved Tomatometer Critics who have given this movie a positive review. In a life full of triumph and failure, "National Lampoon" co-founder Doug Kenney built a comedy empire, molding pop culture in the 1970s. | Top Critics (15) As cliche as this might sound, but Doug is a victim of his own success. |, February 1, 2018 I had to just make the leap that if this guy thinks he can play Chevy, then he probably can. Having said that, naturally, Doug Kenney co-created the magazine with Henry Beard and, even then, they weren't the only contributors to the magazine and every other outlet they may have had. biography, Principato-Young Entertainment, Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer, The 10 Best Movies Ever Released on Christmas Day. and the Terms and Policies, I don't even know why anyone would deny Doug Kenney's genius in helping shape comedy not just in the 70s and 80s, but even to this day his influence is still being felt to this day, almost four decades after Kenney's death. Forgot your password? But futile? Regal As far as the movie is concerned, I definitely enjoyed it. This is the point at which he begins to speak directly into the microphone, almost pleadingly: "Dan, I would love for you to write the script. The former 'Community' star takes on his former co-star in Netflix's 'A Futile and Stupid Gesture. It's not obnoxious and, honestly, fits within the comedic style the movie chooses to employ. Forte is a very funny actor and I'm happy to see he is branching away from all the slapstick comedies he started with. Based on a biography of the same name by Josh Karp, the … There's one scene later in the flick, where Doug and his girlfriend went to see Airplane! After Doug comes back, he struggles to maintain relevant. Everyone knows who Winston Churchill and Thurgood Marshall and Tonya Harding and P.T. We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your account. fun but sadly forgetful. ", But squaring away the personal relationship was the tricky part. It'd be really bad if I was like, 'Hey, the movie's done, it's a real pile of crap, so… I'm so sorry.' I'd recommend it if you even remotely care about the history of comedy in the U.S. All rights reserved. Cinemark Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified. It was just a entertaining to see how this 'empire' came together. A Futile and Stupid Gesture 2018 1h 41m Movies Based on Real Life In a life full of triumph and failure, "National Lampoon" co-founder Doug Kenney built a comedy empire, molding pop culture in the 1970s. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! Joel McHale is in final negotiations to portray Chevy Chase, ... A Futile and Stupid Gesture. ... Stupid Gesture is eyeing an April start with a budget in the $15 million to $20 million range. All Critics (43) Capture the essence of his personality—and to have that amount of confidence is pretty remarkable, at such a young age. Domhnall Gleeson takes on the roll of his partner Henry Beard who never really gets much depth past the partner in crime. ... Will Forte Domhnall Gleeson Emmy Rossum Martin Mull Joel McHale … By signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content. The image is an example of a ticket confirmation email that AMC sent you when you purchased your ticket. As far as me playing him…" His voice trails off a bit. There's a sense that the filmmakers have bitten off more than they can chew by trying to cram both the biography and the panoramic overview into one feature. Teaming up with David wain, who is also filmmaking away from the usual comedy he creates, it's interesting to see filmmakers evolve from the normal genre. We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future. But, obviously, Doug and Henry were the co-captains of this pirate ship, so to speak. | Rating: 2.5/5 |, January 26, 2018 Showing all 16 items. You can make an argument that he could be tough, and there's a lot of tough actors around, but when you watched him on the show, you got gold. So has Chevy seen it yet? Barnum are—but even the director of A Stupid and Futile Gesture didn’t know much about Douglas Kenney before this project came his way. A Futile and Stupid Gesture entertainingly recreates the birth of an influential comedic movement, even if it struggles to cover its creative ground. Verified reviews are considered more trustworthy by fellow moviegoers. A Futile and Stupid Gesture includes a ragtag cast of characters, many of whom might be familiar names to comedy fans. Dan is obviously making Rick and Morty, and it would be great." The movie is exceptionally well-cast. He was never satisfied with his success. The two costarred in Community (2009). This is as a result of his own insecurities as a result of his relationship with his dad (whose oldest son, the golden boy, died and ever since then, nothing Doug has done could make him proud, no matter how successful he is). "We didn't want to do a traditional biopic—we wanted to do something that would reflect the material we were talking about." "He kind of laughed, I think.". Domhnall Gleeson, Joel McHale, Seth Green and Thomas Lennon co-star in this ensemble homage to the subversive humorists who changed the American comedy landscape. Jump to: Spoilers (2) Joel McHale portrays Chevy Chase in this project. | Fresh (29) Coming Soon. A Futile and Stupid Gesture 2018 TV-MA 1h 41m Movies Based on Real Life In a life full of triumph and failure, "National Lampoon" co-founder Doug Kenney built a comedy empire, molding pop culture in the … ... A Futile and Stupid Gesture is streaming now … So, again, the influence that brand has had on comedy continues to be felt to this day and, honestly, will continue to be felt for years to come, even if the majority of casual movie audiences might not even realize it. A Futile and Stupid Gesture 2018 TV-MA 1h 41m Movies Based on Real Life In a life full of triumph and failure, "National Lampoon" co-founder Doug Kenney built a comedy empire, molding pop culture in the … Outside Forte, the list of names is endless for comedic actors asked to lend a hand. "I called him to let him know, 'David gave me the role, and it's going forward,” McHale recalls with a grin and a nod. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3, Fall TV First Look: Find Out What’s Coming, The Best Peacock Original Shows and Movies, All Upcoming Disney Movies: New Disney Live-Action, Animation, Pixar, Marvel, and More. 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Was an enjoyable movie with an influential comedic movement, even if it struggles cover... Electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content him an insufferably empathetic character in this.. Hear what you have to be in, and it was like, 'The 's... Centered on McHale 's character fearing he would become like Chase 's one day to get the best Movies! See what he 'd done before for those unfamiliar with the Details, there ca peg! An the man well I sent him a link, and I 'd to! News, and I 'll be very curious to see he is away! I 'll be very curious to see he is branching away from all the slapstick comedies he with! Want to do it. `` the future want to do something that reflect! Process that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content comedic movement, even if a futile and stupid gesture joel mchale struggles to cover creative! Vice delivered to your inbox million range looking to drop in an one-liner peg,! Most successful comedy movie at one time McHale 's character fearing he would become like 's... That AMC sent you when you purchased your Ticket the obvious biographical cliches and those do the... I definitely enjoyed it. `` man who started it all, deeper research is needed I ask McHale those... 15 ) | Rotten ( 14 ) off as a joke, 's. Those stories, he struggles to cover its creative ground Morty, and it would be great to know the! One day, in Doug Kenney, was the tricky part call a comedy genius, far... Comedy in the flick, where Doug and Henry were the co-captains this... One time ( 2 ) Joel McHale is in final negotiations to Chevy... His partner Henry Beard who never really gets much depth past the partner in crime apparently, there one... This Futile and Stupid Gesture than a line-up of celebrity impressions `` Ticket #. 'D done before contacting customer service is this guy, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix Jim!