Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: James Hartnett, Lauren Kurtz, Kristian Bruun, Mike Gauthier, Ben Deverett
Director: Sean Cisterna
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family
Studio: Peace Arch Home Entertain Release Date: 11/13/2007
Not for children
P. Mann | Los Angeles | 06/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Here's the description from the back of the DVD box: "When Danielle forces her fiancé James to meet her family during the holidays, James decides to undergo hypnosis to calm his nerves. However, a disgruntled hypnotist gives James more than he bargains for and soon he's making a complete fool of himself in front of the very people he is supposed to impress."
Now my review:
There isn't much holiday spirit here. Rather, what we get is a screwball comedy that could have been funnier. The setup is simple. At a Christmas party, a young hypnotist (Ben Deverett, looking and acting a great deal like Jaleel White's character Steve Urkel becomes angry when his payment is not what was promised. The scapegoat, James (James Hartnett, has conveniently asked to be hypnotized so that he will be less nervous when he meets the family of his fiancée, Danielle (Lauren Kurtz. Instead, he is given a variety of instructions, such as crying like a child whenever he sees Santa Claus.
One of the difficulties with the film is the obviously small budget, which leads to rather serious variation in the sound level. I mention this problem first because it is annoying to have to keep changing the volume. However, that aside, the film isn't all that bad, at least as long as you're not interested in a heartwarming film. If you're looking for rather obvious and, frankly, frequently mindless humor (such as excessive flatulence in church), you've found the film for you. The star, Hartnett, reminded me a bit of John Ritter, and I'm not sure whether the problem is that he wasn't reined in more or that he wasn't given more freedom to be completely crazy. Either way, for whatever reason, the film is neither a complete disaster nor an exercise in greatness. I think it's just a movie you have to be in the mood for.
I mentioned that this film is not for children. There is strong language that you won't find in, say, It's A Wonderful Life or A Charlie Brown Christmas, and there are quite a few innuendos, both visual and spoken, that parents probably would rather not have to explain to children. However, if your idea of great comedy is the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles, you might find something to enjoy here.
Bonus features include bloopers (actually, just the closing credits), the trailer, and behind-the-scenes glimpses.