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Hamlet 2 

The filmmakers know exactly who the joke is on - do you?

Hamlet 2 is hilarious because its filmmakers know exactly whom the joke is on. Steve Coogan can play deluded boobs like Dana Marschz in his sleep by now but still attacks this role with gusto. Hamlet 2 has its problems. Catherine Keener as Coogan's wife is so inessential to the plot that her usually welcome presence is a distraction. The plot is paper-thin---it's as if the writers never developed the movie much past the concept stage. Despite this, the film is a wildly funny parody of the enthusiasm of the talentless, with the film's climactic performance of Marschz's magnum opus, Hamlet 2, serving as a great example of the dangers of giving into their demands. This is an easy target and Christopher Guest's Waiting for Guffman did it better by investing you in its similarly talentless cast's desire for greatness even as their play, Red, White and Blaine! burned a hole into your brain. Hamlet 2 doesn't give Marschz much of an arc, so the delight is in watching the levels of humiliation and the planes of idiocy Marschz simultaneously endures and reaches in getting his play to the stage. The film's problems don't diminish the jokes.

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Vol 27, No 28
December 5, 2019

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