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InAPPropriate Comedy

2013 | 84 min | R | 1.85:1

InAPPropriate Comedy


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Theatrical release date

 22 March, 2013

Country of origin

 United States

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InAPPropriate Comedy Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, March 22, 2013

When there’s no creativity to be found, shock value always rears its ugly head. “InAPPropriate Comedy” is the latest picture to mistake crudeness for cunning, trying to nab attention through bad behavior and wretched use of comedy’s current crutch: interminable improvisation. It’s racist, gross, and vulgar, and for all the time the production put into constructing this movie (though that could be debated), there’s not a single laugh to be found. “InAPPropriate Comedy” strains to be outrageous, but it’s a corpse from the get-go, making the ensuing 75 minutes of screen time an extreme chore to sit through. The feature doesn’t offend, it just bores.

There’s no plot to “InAPPropriate Comedy,” it’s merely a series of skits tied to the concept of a subterranean dweller (Vince Offer) in possession of a tablet device that exists in Lindsay Lohan’s vagina (I can’t explain it clearer than that). On the mystery man’s app list are shows such as “The Amazing Racist,” watching host Ari Shaffir attempt to rattle innocent bystanders with his forceful, hateful pranks; “Blackass,” where a group of thugged-out African-Americans takes to the streets to perform stunts and engage in mischief; “Flirty Harry,” which finds Adrien Brody starring as a gay cop who only speaks in sexual innuendo; and “The Porno Review,” where hosts J.D. (Rob Schneider) and Harriet (Michelle Rodriguez) critique adult films, using a grading scale based on the amount of semen co-host Bob (Jonathan Spencer) dumps into a popcorn bucket. As the caveman punches his way around the screen, we weave in and out of video presentations before returning to Lohan, who’s in the midst of recreating Marilyn Monroe’s famous upskirt shot from “The Seven Year Itch” before murdering a group of paparazzi (I can’t explain it clearer than that).

The director and general mastermind of “InAPPropriate Comedy” is pitchman Offer, perhaps best known to the outside world as “The ShamWow Guy” or the “The Slap Chop Guy.” Taking a second stab at filmmaking after 1999’s “The Underground Comedy Movie,” Offer looks to recreate the same viewing experience, gathering friends and struggling L.A. comedians to create vignettes rooted in odious behavior. While the tablet concept is employed as a narrative linking device, it’s hardly used in full. Out of a screen of 20 apps, we see only six bits, and those are repeated ad nauseam, while one, “Psychology World” (with Schneider), doesn’t even have a punchline, presenting a woman confessing her lurid sexual foibles to her therapist, who promptly chokes on an apple. Hee-hee?

It’s a shame “InAPPropriate Comedy” doesn’t provide a wider range of nonsense, as the material it relies on to pad the movie isn’t funny in the least. With “Blackass,” we see cast members joust with brown phallic lances in a grocery store parking lot, try to entice a mouse to eat cheese off the end of a bandaged, pus-seeping penis, and stake out an abortion clinic, offering cheaper services with a wire hanger to nervous patients. In “Flirty Harry,” Brody works double entendres with a dead-eyed concentration, clearly realizing his agreement to take part in the picture was a huge mistake. And “The Porno Review” is merely an excuse to play with tired adult film conventions and Japanese dubbing jokes (one of the offerings covered is titled “Sushi Mama”) while forgoing actual nudity, oddly stopping short of additional R-rated emphasis. There’s plenty of spilled ejaculate, but no skin. Offer has peculiar priorities.

And there’s “The Amazing Racist,” Shaffir’s ode to the ugliness of the world, positioning himself as a television host who loves to attack races and religion, baiting strangers with stereotypes and confrontational chicanery. He travels to the Mexican border to capture illegals in a cage and return them to their home country, infiltrates a Jewish grocery store dressed as a priest to prod customers into signing an apology for the murder of Jesus, attempts to entice African-Americans with a free boat trip to return them to Africa, and arranges a driver’s education class for Asians, mocking their field of vision. The segments are endless and shapeless, depending on Shaffir to bring jokes to awkward and ill-conceived encounters rooted in grade school cruelty. And cracking Holocaust and fried chicken jokes doesn’t make these tedious sequences pop as Shaffir imagines. Worse, it’s all staged humor with actors, making the inertia of the encounters all the more baffling, relying on the star’s prosaic improvisational skills to carry the moment. Offer can’t get enough of this “app,” returning to Shaffir’s illness repeatedly.

The Lohan weirdness and tablet location aside, “InAPPropriate Comedy” is actually conventional in its urge to offend, with a decade of “Family Guy” ubiquity and YouTube desperation wearing down the raw nerve experience of watching charmless folk quest to antagonize and horrify. In the right hands and with a sharpness of wit, there’s comedy gold in taboo-smashing material. “InAPPropriate Comedy” is overseen by the ShamWow Guy. You’ve been warned.

Starring: Adrien Brody, Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez, Rob Schneider
Director: Vince Offer

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