Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the language in this documentary -- which follows Vince Vaughn and a company of comedians on the road -- is not for the faint of heart. The foul language is colorful (every form of "f--k" you can think of and more) and nearly constant. That said, it's primarily delivered in spirited stand-up routines and casual conversation that's meant to be funny, and no anger or aggressive behavior is seen or implied. The guys talk about sex a fair amount (sometimes graphically), and they also smoke and drink.
What's the story?
In the late summer of 2005, Vince Vaughn and a company of four young stand-up comics plucked from a well-known Los Angeles comedy club embarked on a 30-day, 30-city stand-up marathon. With the added attraction of some appealing guest stars -- including Justin Long, Peter Billingsley, and Jon Favreau -- the show played to delighted, mostly college-aged audiences in sold-out auditoriums. This documentary follows the company, on stage and off, as they make their way across America.
Is it any good?
Credit Vaughn with trying to pay it forward. Grateful for his own success, he hoped the country would fall in love with comedians Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, and Sebastian Maniscalco. For the most part, he achieves his goals: Their show is funny, irreverent, hip, macho, revealing, and heartfelt. The movie is all that, as well. It's also too long, and occasionally upended by raging testosterone and lapses into childish behavior.
Ahmed, Caparulo, Ernst, and Maniscalco -- and, of course, Vaughn -- are talented, funny men. They're also revealed to be very human. Scenes between shows (shot in the luxury bus that was their home for the trip) are mostly playful but also reveal the insecurity and fear that are part of show business. In four highly personal scenes with the comics' families, the audience gets a first-hand look at their origins, their characters, their hopes, and their vulnerability. Those scenes make this film more than just a comedy revue.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether the movie's documentary format heightens viewers' appreciation of the comedians. What did you learn about the actors and comedians that surprised you? Did your feelings change as you got to know them and their families? Was the segment in which the comedians worked "clean" (for young Hurricane Katrina victims) less funny, more funny, or about the same as their usual routines? Why?