dvd review: WHO'S YOUR MONKEY


Perhaps the most important thing I can tell you about the comedy Who’s Your Monkey is that it’s not really a comedy—at least not the sort of comedy that the misleading packaging would have you think it is. Sure, there are comedic moments to be found in this film, but it is more of a dramedy than the screwball farce it is made out to be. You look at the poorly designed box, and you see the cute woman, the monkey holding a Chinese throwing star sitting on her shoulder, and four hapless looking dildo-heads standing over a dead body, and you might actually expect some sort of nonstop laugh riot. And if that’s the case, man, are you ever in for a disappointment.

Who’s Your Monkey—which was originally titled Throwing Stars—finds four life-long friends trying to keep their lives from falling apart. Bobby (Jason London) is still morning the death of his wife by drowning his sorrow with booze. Mark (Scott Grimes) is a surgeon who lost his practice after a patient dies on the operating table, and must resort to making crystal meth to earn a living. Hutto (David DeLuise) is not-so enthusiastically awaiting the birth of his first child. And finally there is Laith (Scott Michael Campbell), who is dating a woman that is far out of his league, but has been feeling sexually inadequate. The pathetic quartet of thirtysomethings are all floundering, stuck in lives that have them lamenting the good old days, while cowering in fear of the uncertainty the future holds. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to feel sympathy for any of these guys (accept for maybe Bobby); because what they are going through is, you know, life.

Once the film introduces our four heroes, the story finally begins. Mark, whose life is spinning out of control after losing a malpractice suit, has resorted to making crystal meth for Reed (Kevin Durrand), a hot tempered dope dealer who also produces bestiality videos. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Through a series of contrived events, Reed is convinced that Mark has freed the animals that were going to be used in one his sex videos. Reed attacks Mark, but somehow the former doctor is able to kill the drug dealer using a Chinese throwing star and frying pan. This leaves Mark stuck with disposing of the body, a task that forces him to enlist the help of his friends. The rest of the movie is these four idiots trying to get rid of the body, and dealing with a horny monkey. Don’t ask—just know that there is a horny monkey in the film.

Believe it or not, despite the absurd plot, Who’s Your Monkey is not so much a straightforward comedy as it is an uneven mix of comedic moments and drama. At least I think that’s what this is. There are some parts of the movie where it is unclear if they are supposed to be serious, or simply moments rendered unfunny by bad comic timing. Whatever the case, the film lacks a true sense of balance, and tends to jump all over the place—one moment it is a dark comedy, then a silly farce, then a poignantly dramatic melodrama. One of the few things that is consistent is the inconsistency of the tone.

Who’s Your Monkey is a mixed bag. On one hand, the performances and the direction of the film are solid. But on the other hand there is a script that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. On one hand you have a few laugh-out-loud moments, but those are balanced out by a few too many moments where the jokes are dead on arrival. Too often the film comes across like a bad mash up of Very Bad Things and Weekend at Bernie’s, neither of which are films anyone should ever claim to be influenced by.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Who’s Your Monkey is that it has enough decent moments to make it not a total waste of time, but at the same time, there is nothing in the film so amazing that it has to be seen. The end result is a film that is not good enough to really be liked, nor bad enough to really hate, which means it does little more than inspire ambivalence.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bamo-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B0013AVJWE&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

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