Some movies are about heroic people. Our main characters are just and fair. Maybe they are a little flawed, but even if that is the case their intentions are good, and perhaps they grow as a person a bit, leaving them free of their flaws when the film ends. That’s not the case for every film, though. Some movies have anti-heroes. They are douches, jerks, and sometimes straight-up not good people. They don’t really grow or change. Maybe their intentions aren’t even good. When I was looking through comedies that are on Amazon Prime, or at least movies listed as comedies, I noticed a few films that have problematic people at the center, and so that has given me my theme for my film recommendations this week.
Let’s start off with Inside Llewyn Davis. Before Oscar Isaac was one of the biggest stars in the world – Star Wars will do that for a guy – he starred in this Coen Brothers film. Oh, Adam Driver is in it as well in a small role. He’s great. So is Isaac. This isn’t my favorite Coen film, but it’s a really good movie. Isaac plays Davis, a folk musician in ‘60s New York. He’s a curmudgeon who refuses to get out of his own way. Watching him is frustrating, but in a worthwhile way. It’s not like when you watch a movie and you’re annoyed because you can’t imagine the protagonist making those decisions. I definitely believe in Davis’ self-destructive behavior. Also, the movie looks great.
After that, we’re going to get a little weird. Under the Silver Lake is an acquired taste, but it worked for me. The movie comes from the director of It Follows, but it didn’t get the same love. Andrew Garfield plays a wayward dude in Los Angeles who meets a woman who lives by him and hangs out for a bit, and then she seems to disappear. Garfield then decides to try and find out what happened. He’s also just a total sleazebag, especially when it comes to women. The movie goes into all sorts of weird places, and it doesn’t always work. However, it’s a fascinating watch, and worth giving a chance to.
Finally, now that it’s later at night, it’s time to bust out an absurd, raunchy comedy. MacGruber is so dumb and stupid. It’s lewd and crude. It’s also just a total joke factory. This is the kind of comedy you want to watch late at night, perhaps a little loopy, perhaps a little buzzed. Will Forte’s MacGyver parody writ large does not have high ambitions. It just wants you to laugh at its stupidity and the awfulness of MacGruber and company. I wouldn’t put it on the same level as some of the classic joke machine comedies, but it fits the mold for this trio of films, and serves as a fine, lightweight capper.