Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I got this stack of movies sitting around my living room that I’m more or less obligated to watch at some time and some of these movies have been sitting in this pile for months. Dutifully I work my way through them and eventually I come to this movie ‘Spring Breakdown’ which from the description sounds life a Lifetime style woman’s comedy which obviously isn’t filling me with any great expectations. Sure Amy Poehler is like the funniest woman on the planet earth right about now and yes Parker Posey is still the hottest thing in almost any movie she appears in, at least those that don’t have Jessica Alba in them, and seems to only get more beautiful the older she gets. We have no idea who this woman Rachel Dratch is but she sure looks like she should be funny. What the hell. So I stick the DVD in the player but before I do this I talk to this DVD. On occasion I do talk to inanimate objects but my psychiatrist has informed me that this is okay behavior, at least until these objects start talking back to you. I tell this DVD that it has five minutes to make me laugh or I’m ejecting this DVD and taking a nap. It didn’t take but five seconds. For me to laugh that is. I don’t give a damn what anybody else says about this movie ‘Spring Breakdown’ but I’m telling you it was straight killing me from the moment it came on to the moment its final credits rolled.

Our film starts with our three mains of Gayle (Poehler), Becky (Posey) and Judi (Dratch) back in college in 1992 doing their rendition of the Cindi Lauper classic ‘True Colors’. Thus we witness off the bat one of the gifts of Amy Poehler who has the unique ability to be funny while doing almost nothing. Watching this woman sing this song while simply tapping a bongo really shouldn’t have been all that funny but it really was. Eventually these three young ladies get booed off the stage, honestly, as they should have, but they make a pact, with graduation imminent, that they are going to turn the world on with their smiles.

Well we all had big plans leaving college. In the present we find that Gayle is a lonely dog trainer who even blind men find unattractive, Judi is engaged to be married, though William (Seth Meyers) her fiancÚ seems to be more of a Greek bathhouse type of guy

as opposed to one who likes women, and Becky is a lonely milquetoast office manager for a hyper aggressive U.S. senator from Texas (Jane Lynch). A bit of a stretch perhaps because I’m pretty sure all Parker Posey has to do to attract companionship is roll out of bed in the morning but we’re going to go ahead and buy into what we are being sold.

To cut to the chase Becky is dispatched to South Padre Island to keep an eye on the Senator’s daughter Ashley (Amber Tamblyn), and as such her homegirls decide to roll with her to this spring break adventure to recapture that tiny slice of youth that has passed them by. Comic convention shall ensue as our young women with a mature edge start doing things completely out of character, become the women they always thought they should be, except for Becky who is our ‘keep it real’ individual for this exercise, but then find out who they were to being with wasn’t all that bad. Now end it like it began with another extremely suspect pop song performance.

So this movie, directed by Ryan Shiraki and written by Shiraki and Rachel Dratch has been out for a minute and as such a lot of people have seen this movie before I saw it. It seems that the majority of the people who have seen this flick don’t love this movie. Man, almost everything in this life we live is subjective and what I might enjoy I don’t expect you to enjoy, but I stand here before you with my left hand on my heart and my right hand in the air to tell you that I thought ‘Spring Breakdown’ was one damn funny movie. Admittedly there have been times when I’ve watched a comedy or two while softened up via the occasional adult beverage of choice which has served to escalate the comedic elements of said movie but I was stone cold sober watching this movie and I was still laughing my ass off. As a matter of fact about halfway through this movie I was kind of hoping it would just go off because I knew that it couldn’t maintain this high level of humor to the finish line but it did manage to do just this.

I haven’t even gotten around to mentioning Missi Pyle who might’ve been the funniest person in this funny movie with her and Amy Poehler looking like they were engaging in a personal competition to see who could clown the most, but everything about this movie from the timing, to the characters to the caricatures of the characters… it was hitting on all its comedy cylinders.

On top of being subjective, comedy is difficult. ‘Friends’ was on for eleven years and for the life of me I don’t know what folks thought was so funny about that show. This movie, while admittedly not all that original in concept and filled with people who probably don’t exist in any kind of real world, was 80 minutes of pure, non-stop comic gold. But apparently only to me. Waddayagonnado?

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