John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan recently put out a fantastic period piece that delves into the latter days of the career of Laurel and Hardy, and it is tender and warm and funny and includes one of the most suspenseful scenes that I’ve experienced in a long, long time.
Set sixteen years after their heyday, the lovable duo are trying to stage a 1950s comeback using their 1930s style humor. They grapple with the changing times, their rocky friendship, and the incredible stress and strain and blessing of wives who love them even as they don’t fully understand them. This is a movie about friendship, and the way men relate to each other, and I didn’t think that you could make a movie like this anymore, but the madmen did it. They really did it.
The only thing I can think of is that this is as much a movie about Hollywood and film-making as it is about fraternal love. The execs who greenlit this film must have been tricked into the latter by being sold the former. For my money, the financial and career stuff only matters insofar as it affected the deep love these two men had for each other.
If you are in the mood for a charming little film without a single explosion or super-power or sex scene, give it a shot. I can’t recommend it highly enough.