Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pierre Pierre

Genre: Le Comedie
Synopsis: Le man est angrie deteste le grand ball nous live on. Salut.
About: Sold for uno million dollars, this Western European jaunt will star Jim Carrey and be directed by Juno's Jason Reitman (no, contrary to popular belief, Diablo Cody did not direct Juno). With Fox Atomic having a nuclear meltdown, I'm not sure where this project currently stands. But I have to say, Jim Carrey, although a little old, is perfect for the part. I'm one of the few souls that liked Yes, Man.
Writers: Edwin Cannistraci & Frederick Seton

note: yes I was considering doing my entire review in faux French. You're welcome for changing my mind.

Let's get something out in the open right now: Cannistraci and Seton, the writers of Pierre Pierre, are two really fucked up individuals. And you know what? I love them for it. Cause their demented minds came up with "Pierre Pierre", a script about an annoying Frenchmen who hates the world so much, he wishes only that he could be dead. Yes, welcome to the 1 million dollar spec script, and 2nd on our list of Top selling 2008 screenplays, "Pierre Pierre!"

Pierre Pierre takes advantage of one of the few countries we can still make fun of without feeling bad about ourselves, France. Pierre is everything we assume the stereotypical Frenchman would be: arrogant, smug, smelly, insensitive, combative, and doesn't really respect women. But see it's okay, because even though the writer is making fun of him, he's making fun of us. And when I say "us", I mean everybody. Because Pierre hates everybody.

We're informed almost immediately just how much of an asshole Pierre is, because instead of calling his girlfriend "Michelle", he calls her "Scumbag." Pierre has all sorts of interesting names for the people in his life. His father is "Idiot Father". His mother is "Whore Mother". A hot girl he meets is "Hot Bitch". His best friend (who also happens to be a rapist and a murderer) he names "Pigeonshit". And of course he calls all these people these names to their faces, which is actually the nicest thing this he says to them, because most of what Pierre has to say revolves around insults and personal attacks. For instance, when his girlfriend brings up that he doesn't work, Pierre retorts, "I work plenty Scumbag. Listening to you prattle on is work. Having the sex with you is work. Breathing the same shit air you breathe is fucking work."

It's actually funny because you imagine Pierre with a thin little mustache, chain smoking, saying all this in the most absurd French accent imaginable. Jim Carrey is going to have a field day with this role but I wouldn't be surprised if they did a rewrite and cleaned him up a lot. This borders on dark comedy here. And we all know what happened the last time Jim Carrey did dark comedy. Errr...The Cable Guy?

So the main storyline is Pierre insulting people. What would be considered the "sub-plot" is when Pierre has to transport the stolen Mona Lisa somewhere in Europe with his stupid girlfriend. Along the way he and Scumbag find a tiny code on the painting and they think, a la the Da Vinci Code, it must lead to something amazing. But as much as Pierre tries to give a shit, he just can't, and would much rather be sitting in an empty room, smoking a cigarette, preparing for death. Watching the Mona Lisa get ripped, kicked, bent, twisted, drawn on, and thrown in the ocean is kinda funny though.

Pierre's shtick gets a little thin in the end, but there are enough LOL moments to justify its large price tag. This script is different from almost every comedy I've ever read. For that alone it gets a thumbs up.

[ ] trash
[ ] barely kept my interest
[x] worth the read (narrowly missed impressive)
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned from Pierre Pierre: This is another case where you have the dreaded screenwriting no-no breathing down your neck: the unlikable hero. You might even call the hero in Pierre Pierre "despicable". Screenplay purists would argue it's impossible to write a film with Pierre as the protagonist because if the protagonist's an asshole, why would we root for him? But there are a few devices you can use to offset an unlikable lead, and the biggest one is humor. It doesn't matter how much of an asshole your hero is, if he's making the audience laugh, they're going to like him. A perfect example is Vince Vaughn in Swingers. On paper the guy is a womanzing asshole. But you can't help but laugh at everything he says. There are other secret ways to offset unlikable heros, but what? Do you think I'm just going to give you everything in one post?? Are you crazy?? Pfft! Stupid Americans. Merde! Je Desteste. Fin.