Surely a film about a fourteen-year-old boy who strikes up a friendship with a man in forties who refuses to grow is going to be a bit creepy? Well, apparently, no. This film has its creep factor, but amazingly, that’s not it.
Duncan (Liam James) is taken away for the summer with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette) to the holiday house of her boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carrell). Trent’s daughter races off with friends, leaving Duncan to find his own way. So while Pam and Trent and enjoying drunken, stoned nights with vivacious neighbour Betty (Allyson Janney) and other friends, Duncan forms a friendship with the manager of the local water park, Owen (Sam Rockwell). Owen gives Duncan a job where he starts to come out of his shell with the help of a strange group of employees.
This cast is filled with some of my favourite actors. In fact, I think I love little more in life than seeing Steve Carrell play a nasty character – and boy is Trent nasty. He bullies everyone around him, but comes across as jovial. The scenario is so well-played that I wanted Duncan to just leave, and had to remind myself that he is a fourteen-year-old boy. Where would he go? His desperation at times was so intense, and I found myself in tears several times. What a good sign that is.
I didn’t get Community for a few episodes. It was sort of funny, but not hilarious. The characters were quirky, but didn’t grab me and I wondered what the hype was all about. After a few episodes, however, it started to get surreal and absurd, and I fell in love with it.
Set in Greendale Community College (kind of like TAFE, from what I can tell), the show follows a study group made up of seven students of a variety of ages and backgrounds. Each has a role within the group, however challenging these roles and expectations creates some interesting episodes. Plus, there is the post-modern twist from the character Abed who often refers to the scenario which is occurring as an episode.
Got a bit first year arts student there. Sorry. The show is ridiculous and funny, and totally beloved by many. And its got Chevvy Chase, who I cannot recall seeing in anything for about fifteen years, and he’s fantastic. Though unsubstantiated rumour has it that the fourth season will possibly not have Chevvy Chase, and that the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, is not on board. I hope neither of these are true, or the show may have jumped the shark. (Although, as Troy pointed out, in one episode of Happy Days a guy did actually jump a shark and it was awesome)