What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has crude and macabre humor. In addition to the movie's feces-centered theme, the carcass of a dead horse and an arrow shot into a man's back are intended to be funny. A husband and wife tussle is mistakenly seen as sexual. Characters drink and one goes to a bar to get drunk as a way to respond to stress. There is brief strong language.
What's the story?
ENVY centers on overly-focused Tim (Ben Stiller) and dreamer Nick (Jack Black), best friends and colleagues. Nick offers Tim a chance to invest on his new idea, "Vapoorize," but the idea seems absurd and Tim turns him down. But this time Nick's dream comes true, and soon he is doing infomercials and raking in the loot. Nick does not want to move, so he builds a mansion across the street from Tim. He has a full-size carousel, a yellow Lamborghini with a license plate that says "CACAKING," a butler, a beautiful white horse, and a doorbell that barks "Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" And of this does to Tim's feelings of friendship what the spray does to the dog poop. Tim is consumed with envy and that leads to some outlandish activities involving revenge, a cover-up, and Christopher Walken.
Is it any good?
Envy isn't bad; it just isn't good enough. It's a long, long time between chuckles. Nick is a sweet guy, which is lovely for him, but it does not make the best use of Black's energy and it is not very funny. Stiller is always fine with repressed fury, but the script does not give him enough fury to do much repressing. He is also a pretty sweet guy, and that is also not very funny. Both men have stay-at-home wives (Amy Poehler and Rachel Weiscz) and interchangeable children. This movie has the "sit," but not the "com."
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about envy and greed. Why are they called "deadly" sins? Why was it so hard for Tim to tell Nick the truth? What did Nick's reaction tell you about him?