Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Aristocrats

Film: The Aristocrats (2005)
Director: Paul Provenza
Tagline: No nudity. No violence. Unspeakable obscenity.
Rating: *** out of 5 stars

Usually, when people walk out on a film, it means the movie is a steaming pile of crap. The Aristocrats proves otherwise. There were only 5 people (including me and Grizzle) in the theater when we saw this film, and 2 of them walked out. That is especially amazing when the film is not some gory horror or obscene porno - it's a documentary! It is definitely the most vulgar documentary - scratch that, FILM - I have seen in recent memory. It thrives on how offensive it can be. And I absolutely love it! This movie doesn't just push the envelope, it takes a bulldozer to that pussy envelope and sends it plummeting over the edge of moral decency.

Any fan of stand-up comedy will be delighted at the sheer number of famous faces in this movie. We hear from some of the dirtiest comedians alive (George Carlin, Bob Saget) and some of the cleanest (Whoopi Goldberg, Carrot Top). At least one of your favorite comics is probably in this movie. Some of them are shockingly vulgar, and others shockingly watered-down.

Some people have complained that the movie has too much commentary on comedy in general and not enough comedians telling their version of the Aristocrats joke. I think it would've been a dull movie had they done the latter. There are a lot of full and partial tellings of the joke, but other amusing bits as well. I enjoyed the comedians' stories and anecdotes. The people who told the joke without the prerequisite urine, feces, and incest turned out to be some of the funniest bits (Steven Wright, Sarah Silverman).

The movie has dull moments, and "wtf?" moments. It moves slowly at times, especially the beginning, but once it picks up, it's great. If you are easily offended (or EVER offended), this film is not for you. If you like potty humor and/or stand-up comedy, prepare to laugh.