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Monday, October 22, 2007

The Comebacks

This weekend four movies opened at the Essex Cinemas. Three should have. Today I went to see The Comebacks and they shouldn’t have. Now, truthfully, The Comebacks aren’t really coming back from any previous movie (thank God!) or anywhere else but the title refers to a painfully horrible college football team with a perfect record – of losing every game, year after year, a record they can expect to maintain in the Academy Awards race this year as well.

Along comes Coach Lambeau Fields (David Koechner; Balls of Fury), also well-known as the worst coach in sports history. He has failed at coaching every conceivable competitive sport there is and has been reduced to a career of collecting stallion semen “the old fashioned way” (don’t ask) when fellow coach Freddie Wiseman (Carl Weathers; The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang) convinces him to give coaching one more try, with The Comebacks at Heartland State University in Plainfolk, Texas.

This is pretty much the entire plot of The Comebacks as if a plot is really necessary for this low-brow comedy in the tradition of Epic Movie and Date Movie, written by tv scripters Ed Yeager and Joey Gutierrez (both from “Still Standing”) and with the original story coming from Not Another Teen Movie’s writers Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. How ironic it should come from this duo because this really is just another teen movie. Surely nobody over the age of 17 would want to sit through this dreck unless they were stoned, witless, or, preferably, both.

The movie is a juvenile riff on every sports movie of the past decade with recognizable bits parodied from Gridiron Gang, Invincible, Glory Road, and Rocky Balboa amongst others, but the common theme here is sex, sex, and more sex, the more sophomoric the better. There are dozens of lame homophobic slights that result in embarrassing titters rather than offensive uproar, mostly because they are balanced by an equal number of situations in which the team players appear to be “playing on the other team” but are playing on that team together, if you know what I mean. It’s amazing how teenagers can be so seemingly homophobic and yet so titillated by the subject at the same time. And if you laughed at the word “titillated” in the last sentence then you have passed your first test in proving you are probably just the right audience for The Comebacks. If you didn’t know what “homophobic” meant, you’ve already passed with flying colors.

Speaking of the team, it is a rag-tag group of misfits that match every stereotype you would expect to find in such a movie. There’s the studly, bling-draped, Diddy-clone, Trotter (Jackie Long; Idlewild), complete with an entourage of hot girls and a gi-normous limo; there’s the butterfingers hunk named Lance (Matthew Lawrence; The Hot Chick), whose cross-dressing dad wants him to play baseball even though the boy’s heart (and talent) lie on the football field. Then there’s the refrigerator-sized boy with a sensitive side (George Back; Sam & Janet); the skinny nerd (Martin Spanjers; “Rory” from tv’s "8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter") who wants to play but can barely hold up his own shoulder pads, and the hard-edged ‘Latino’ guy named George Johnson (Jesse Garcia; American Identity) who insists on being called Jorge Juanston, who is p.o.’ed at the establishment and talks like a Barrio gangsta even though he grew up in the oh-so-white suburbs with his parents, who just bought him a condo and a new car. There’s also the Indian (dots not feathers) girl, Jizminder Featherfoot (Noureen DeWulf; Ocean's Thirteen), who wears as much of her traditional sari as she can on the outside of her uniform during games and has the attention of most of the players because of her belief that she must remain devoted to the “traditional ways”, which include providing “oral satisfaction to man.” Last, but not least, is Aseel Tare (Robert Ri'chard; House of Wax), a spunky kid who must have been born under a ladder on Friday the 13th while his mother broke a mirror to scare away a black cat in her path. In other words, he is a tad bit accident prone. Just don’t stand too close ~ unless you want to catch an express bus.
Helping the Coach is the movie’s free pass to make fun of the developmentally disabled, a young man named iPod (Jermaine Williams; Stomp the Yard), who spends most of the film humping the legs of either the coach or various players, waiting for his “big moment” in the finale when he gets to do something besides being a “drool bucket” as the Coach calls him after chiding the players for using the term “retarded.” Sigh.

I doubt it will come as any surprise that The Comebacks will miraculously make it to the championship game – The South-Southwest Conference Championship 2nd Annual Toilet Bowl – playing against (gulp) The Lone Star State Unbeatables, a team led by the Coach’s own one-time best friend and fellow coach Freddie Wiseman, that very same guy who had urged Lambeau to coach The Comebacks in the first place, figuring there was no chance they would ever be any competition to his own team, which he neglected to mention to Lambeau he was coaching. Sneaky weasel.

Wow! So there actually was a glimmer of a plot amidst the breast and erection jokes. I guess it was just so well covered under all the boobs and boners that it was barely discernible until you really strain to separate it from the winky-wink sex jokes and think about it later, but, trust me; it’s just not worth THAT much thought. It’s not even worth thinking about...Period.

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