Mancation (2012)

Wow, look, he’s finally getting around to doing an honest-to-God review, could it be possible?

On Thursday, I attended a test screening of a film by the company I interned for, K-Phat Productions. Granted, the fact that I knew some of the people involved may be considered a breach of journalistic ethics, except that A) I didn’t work on the film in question, B) I’m an asshole, which means I have no problem telling anyone why and how they may have screwed up, constructive criticism and all, and C) I just don’t give a shit.

Moving on…

The plot concerns Vince (Matt Kawczynski), a businessman who just married the daughter of his bellicose boss (played by “hey, it’s that guy” actor Mike Starr). Sadly, Vince isn’t the observant type, or he might have realized that he was really in love with childhood friend Rebecca (Danica McKellar), or that his new bride was a lesbian who only married him to keep up appearances. Distraught over the latter, he is comforted by his brother (Stephen Medvidick) and best friends (Joey Fatone, Jake Matthews), who decide that the only way to help him get over it is to get him laid as soon as possible. And, as the phenomenon of reality TV has more than proven in recent years, there’s no better place for drunken, anonymous sex than the Jersey shore.

On discovering that Rebecca is in AC, Vince tries to track her down and declare his love, while Brady (Fatone) tries to steer him away from romantic attachment. Meanwhile, Adam (Matthews) teaches Leo (Medvidick) all the ins and outs of being a badass, earning the ire of an obnoxious eurotrash tourist (Derek Lindeman) and his equally demented sidekick (Brian Hagan).

It’s tempting to write this off as a low-budget Hangover clone, and such an accusation wouldn’t be entirely off the mark, though it manages to carve out its own identity. Fatone does what he can with the role of Brady, though other than trying desperately to assure the world of his heterosexuality, isn’t given much to do, mostly serving as the one big name used to market to a wider audience. Kawczynski earns pathos as Vince, and McKellar naturally fits the role of love interest (who better to serve as the girl-next-door archetype than the former Winnie Cooper). As the comic relief, Medvidick and Matthews play out bromantic stereotypes, in what feels like a bid to pump as much testosterone onto the screen as possible. Although the toilet humor is kept to a minimum, the climactic confrontation with the villain makes the “filthiest person alive” contest from Pink Flamingos seem downright wholesome by comparison. Yet, in spite of it all, I found myself laughing my ass off. Highly recommended.

Things I learned from watching this movie:

  • A cash bar means cash bar, so bring cash (I learned this not from the movie itself, but, rather, the venue it played at)
  • The only thing more threatening to a man’s sexuality than listening to N’Sync is going to a flower show
  • Scissors beats paper, rock beats scissors, feces beats menstrual blood
  • Making racist jokes to a gang made up of said race is not the best way to earn friends
  • The terms “lesbian” and “bisexual” are easily confused
  • Anyone involved with the mergers and acquisitions department of a company is automatically the cinematic equivalent of Satan
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