|Starring||Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah, Whitlock Jr, Alia Shawkat|
|Release||29 APR 2011 (UK) Certificate 15|
It is also strictly not a one-man show, with an ensemble of comedy characters all pitching in with one-liners and general goofiness. While Sigourney Weaver’s mumsy cougar, Stephen Root’s pressure-cooker boss and Kurtwood Smith’s righteous convention head are all just bit players in the grand scheme of the film, they help to make up a wonderfully diverse cast of rich characters who all round-out this pleasant, if not utterly hilarious, comedy.
Reilly steals the show as the party boy Ziegler, behaving like a drunken loon with only half his marbles for most of the film, making for a terrible influence for Lippe while clearly maintaining only good intentions. While our nervous protagonist consistently finds himself partaking in more and more debauched and troublesome scenes, Ziegler is always on hand to spur him on/get his back/provide a crass comment as and when he is needed.
While the film provides more than a few laugh-out-loud moments, the guffaws don’t exactly flow thick and fast - it feels like there is an outrageous and raucous comedy just bubbling underneath the surface that never quite gets a chance to make itself known. This resulting restraint is perhaps a symptom of not knowing whether you should be rooting for Lippe during his inadvertent exercises in substance and moral abuse. Taking drugs? This way leads to comedy, but we already know that it will also lead to trouble for Lippe and we do want him to succeed at the convention, don’t we?
Overall, though, the laughs more than make up for the confused message and, while this isn’t destined to be remembered as a great standout comedy worthy of rivalling Helms’ other film about over-indulgence, it is still guaranteed to provide a few giggles and knee-slaps.