Review: Klown


Klown may be one of the most disgusting movies I’ve seen all year. Not since the salad days of the Farrelly Brothers has there been such a level of gleeful grossness in a two man comedy team, and it’s something that I’ve really missed in comedy today. While Klown isn’t exactly a “gross-out comedy,” it’s definitely a reminder that we don’t get as many of those as we used to. They may have been crass and mostly terrible, but damn it, I loved them.

When Klown is at its grossest, it tends to be at its best. When it’s going for a darker, drier humor, things gets boring very quickly. 

Mikkel Nørgaard
Rating: R
Release Date: July 27th (NYC:  Village East, LA: Cinefamily, Austin: Alamo Drafthouse)

Frank (Frank Hvam) is the squarest man with the squarest face you could imagine. His girlfriend Mia (Mia Lyhne) has learned she is is pregnant and, to Frank’s dismay, plans to abort the baby because she thinks Frank has no potential as a father. To prove that he can be a good father, Frank sort of kidnaps Mia’s young nephew Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen) and takes him along on a canoe trip with his best friend Casper (Casper Christensen), who has dubbed the voyage the “Tour de Pussy” in the hopes of finding lots of what should be fairly obvious. As the three embark on an increasingly strange trip, Frank has to learn a bit more about himself and learn to be a decent father. He occasionally succeeds. He mostly fails.

In essence, Klown could be compared to HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Frank is a more hapless, less overtly-terrible Larry David, finding himself in situation after situation he manages to exacerbate with his own terrible decisions, usually made worse thanks to Casper’s desperate search for sex. Bo himself is mostly just a device for Frank to take from place to place and help to set off whatever terrible thing he inflicts upon himself.

I’ve been sitting here struggling to write more about this movie, and now I’m resorting to the terrible old tactic of talking about my own writing within a piece. The problem, though, is that Klown‘s pretty dull, at the end of the day. There are these wonderful moments of just pure disgust and hilarity when Frank finds himself in the worst situations, such as accidentally administering that kind of pearl necklace to wholly the wrong person. Moments like that are punctuation marks after long periods of nothing of interest happening. It’s like the writers had this plot for a middling “man discovers he could be a good father” story all laid out, and someone Pollacked it up with some truly disgusting, hilarious moments.

That’s pretty much all there is to say about Klown. The cinematography is handheld and very fly-on-the-wall, possibly lampooning the Dogme 95/Von Trier style, and no one’s performance really sticks out as incredibly nuanced/hilarious. This is a movie that exists, and it doesn’t really do anything special. I’d say it’s the picture of mediocrity.