TEN

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Posted October 1, 2007 in Film

Jesus taught morality with parables about seeds, sheep, and needles. These ten skits that illustrate the virtues of Moses’ commandments prefer smack-dealing rhinos, Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonators, and horny ventriloquist dummies. Do not covet thy neighbor’s wife becomes do not covet thy cellmate’s prison bitch. Which sounds funny in theory (as long as you’re not the inmate getting raped by Rob Corddry) but isn’t. Anti-humor is a deliberate move by director David Wain and co-writer Ken Marino, who have oversubscribed to this decade’s Dada wit in which actual jokes have given sway to non-jokes. We’re supposed to giggle in the awkward silence that follows each flat prank. Three or four times we do when Paul Rudd, as the narrator of sorts, rambles on between bits about his problems with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). There’s a good running gag about Dianne Wiest and I couldn’t resist snorting at a cartoon orgy with three butterflies and a cow. But each sketch is a one-joke absurdist premise–Winona Ryder makes out with a mannequin, two suburban dads competitively stockpile CAT scan machines–that quickly wears out its welcome, making these fingers-crossed exhortations not to commit adultery or covet thy neighbor’s stuff feel as stale as a communion wafer.


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