Saturday, February 17, 2007

They Had Me At "Ow, My Balls"

Survey Says: 4 out of 5 aching, battered, and bruised balls

The criminal mishandling of Idiocracy by Fox has been fairly well-documented. The studio gave the tiny, corporation-bashing film a non-existent release, dumping it in six American cities (excluding every major East Coast city north of The ATL) and effectively turning this movie into a curiosity. Whereas there was relative awareness of its predecessor, Office Space, which had a this-is-what-your-job-is-really-like hook that could survive a box-office drubbing on video, Idiocracy has been rendered entirely anonymous.

Given that what reviews were written presented a mixed view, I thought maybe Fox was right. Maybe it was bad enough that they refused to take an obvious risk. After all, Fox must know its business better than I do, right?



Idiocracy was hilarious. Just totally, totally hilarious. I was dying of laughter before the movie even started, just because of the Ow, My Balls!-themed DVD menu. Was it a great movie? Hardly. But it's funny enough that it makes up for it.

(Short digression: much as the point of Ow, My Balls! was to show how little it takes to amuse stupid people, if Ow, My Balls! were a real show, I'd watch it. Absofuckinglutely. It meets a need that I daresay America hasn't yet found the solution for: long-form testicular pain. Sure, viral video precursor America's Funniest Home Videos turned it into a fad, but I'm talking about a full 30-minute situation comedy, where the situation is one guy getting kicked in the balls over and over again. Jules Verne predicted the submarine; let's hope Mike Judge predicts Ow, My Balls!.)

Anyway, if we can put dick and fart jokes aside for a moment, Idiocracy is equally successful as social commentary. It's not a complete thought on the premise (since it's still a comedy) but it squeezes out plenty of jokes. It's just as brave and biting as Office Space, and with bigger fish to fry. Plus, while you're getting your Swiftian satire on, you'll laugh your ass off.

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