Wednesday, July 8, 2015

No Way Jose: Movie Review

Not enough comedy to break up the pessimistic monotony.

No Way Jose stars Adam Goldberg as Jose, born as Joseph Stern but he's 1/8th Mexican so Jose it is. There's a lot of humour present in the lead character but he's also very tiring, pessimistic, passive aggressive, and did I mention tiring? He complains for the full hour and a half run-time of the movie. While some of his complaints are funny, there is just no reprieve from his verbose pessimism. 2015

Directed by: Adam Goldberg

Screenplay by: Adam Goldberg, Sarah Kate Levy

Starring: Adam Goldberg, Ahna O'Reilly

Jose is a musician, but an unsuccessful one, and is relegated to playing children's birthday parties. He hates it. He has a wonderful and charming girlfriend Dusty (Ahna O'Reilly) who's trying to domesticate him by getting engaged, moving to the suburbs, going on vacation together and celebrating birthdays with friends. He hates it. Although she insists that he hated their previous house and life more.

On one fateful night after Jose took too many Ambien (which is a nightly occurrence), Dusty downloads a sex predators app to help keep their non-existent future children safe. This is not good news for Jose but he's currently strung-out on Ambien and his ability to explain past incidents is seriously limited. A long string of half nonsense, half childhood stupidity explained by a drugged out half-Jewish half-Mexican passive aggressive neurotic man-child is pretty damn funny.

But that takes us to the plot of the movie. And there isn't much of one. Jose has to figure out how to get his life on track, but he hates everyone and everything. So he sits around and complains. Seeing as that's all he did before, it's hard to see how his life is suddenly off-track. If the beginning is the same and middle is the same, why should the ending be any different?

Jose is a frustrating mix of humour and annoyance. Every time he has a funny line, you're hoping it's going to become the laugh-out-loud comedy it could have been, but then he goes back to moping through completely pointless and boring scenes with friends. The pessimistic monotony is only momentarily broken up with a funny scene.

The other people in Jose's life don't seem to like him much more than he likes life. Why Dusty wasted so much time with him in the first place was never answered; his bandmates are shafted to nameless, unfunny people; and his one friend who is a friend has a wife who should have kicked him out of the house the second he set foot in it. That friend is crafted on the one joke that having kids ages you 20 years. And that's the whole movie. No Way Jose is one long joke at look at how funny Jose is, but really he's just tiring.

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