by: Jay Carlson
We are fortunate to be in the midst of a comedy renaissance, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 80’s. The comedies being churned out by the Judd Apatow crew have been some of the best and brightest to be released over the course of the last decade and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview is no exception.
The plot of The Interview revolves around slick, vapid, TV personality, Dave Skylark played by James Franco who is more cheesy used car salesman or game show host than serious newsman. Seth Rogen plays his friend and producer, Aaron Rappaport, who is yearning to break free of reporting silly celebrity gossip so that they can grab some journalistic integrity by reporting on real news.
The opportunity for the two to finally establish themselves as real reporters occurs when Rappaport is presented an opportunity to put Skylark face to face with one of the most infamous men on the planet, North Korea dictator Kim Jung-Un. It seems the crazed dictator is a huge fan western entertainment and particularly of Skylark’s show. Once the interview is set things become complicated as the government proposes that they use the opportunity to assassinate the unpredictable dictator.
The situation is further complicated when Skylark begins to re-evaluate the plan after spending time and bonding with Kim Jung-Un. (Perhaps this is why Dennis Rodman didn’t follow through as well.)
I won’t delve much further into the plot because the ride is a huge part of what makes The Interview so enjoyable. The film killed during the screening I attended in Boston, with many of the laughs spilling over into other funny moments, requiring at least one more viewing to take it all in.
As usual Seth Rogen and James Franco’s chemistry together is a joy. The two of them consistently look like they’re having a blast working off of one another and it makes for some amazing comedic moments. Franco’s facial expressions and the looks exchanged between he and Rogen are well worth the price of admission.
The supporting cast is solid, though I wish there was more for Lizzy Caplan’s honeypot government agent to do after her introduction. Randall Park steals the show as mad dictator Kim Jung-Un and manages to take what could be expected to be a two dimensional character and squeeze the comedy out of every opportunity. The scenes shared between he and James Franco were all among the best in the film.
From the beginning to the end, Rogen and Franco will have you laughing your ass off. If you’re looking to break up the dramas of Academy Award season, then I suggest you check out The Interview.
The Interview opens Christmas day.