Last night I caught a press screening of Observe and Report, the latest in an increasingly unfunny stream of Seth Rogen movies. I cracked a smile here and there, mostly at Anna Faris, who I think is actually ridiculously funny (see Just Friends). I do applaud films where solid, funny roles are created for women, except this isn’t one of them. She’s a sex object, and a crudely rendered one at that. Why, she’s nearly pixellated. Also, the film’s pacing is inconsistent, and best likened to myself in junior high gym class trying to get through the timed runs: violent bursts of sloppy, flailing speed followed by exasperated pain followed by casual strolling, over and over and over again.
Now, I like Seth Rogen. I think he’s funny, in a natural, relatable way. The problem with this film is he’s neither relatable nor hilarious. As Ronnie, he should be a lovable loser, but he’s just not lovable. Rogen’s almost too good at playing this nutjob. You want him to fail, and you feel a little (SPOILER ALERT) ripped off when he doesn’t. I don’t think I’ve as earnestly rooted for an unhappy ending since Titantic. Perhaps that’s an overstatement, and the film wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t funny, either. In a week, I probably won’t even remember it.