I rarely write movie reviews for G&C but when I was invited to the red carpet press screening for National Lampoon’s “One, Two, Many,” I gleefully rubbed my rotting fingers together. I was starved for some real edgy, original, funny, shit. I mean, this is National Lampoon we’re talking about. I grew up on NL Magazine and it was a big influence on me. Making me even more excited was that the producer and writer and star of “One... Two Many” was John Melendez (aka Stuttering John from the Howard Stern Show) and the announcer for the Tonight Show. John never played it safe on Howard Stern and was know for confronting stars on the red carpet with embarrassing questions and getting in fistfights, spitting at celebrities as he wildly stuttered.
So, I was certain this movie would take the gloves off and come out swinging. But instead, what I got was, “You’ve Got Mail” with stuttering John. Or, was it just a tame version of “Chasing Amy”?
This movie played it as safe as an elementary school crossing guard on Zanex and, let’s face it, you can’t play it safe with comedy. Look at “Borat” which took huge risks and reaped the benefits.
The ultra thin plot of “One, Two More” has John, a single loser, searching for a girl who will agree to a threesome . This could provide fertile comedy material. But instead we get fertilizer -- cheap fart jokes and half-baked psychobabble about relationships and the true meaning of love, from his gay Psychologist played by Jim J. Bullock (a real stretch here). A gay guy playing a gay guy, who would have thought?
The script is linear and predictable. This movie could have been so much more entertaining if John’s girlfriend had agreed to a three-way, only if John also agreed to have a three-way with two men and her -- perhaps with John's on screen pal (comedian Jeff Ross) as the hapless third party. At least that would create some conflict -- and with conflict comes funny. John could have then gotten advice from his gay psychologist on how to please a man, etc.
And there is a painfully long scene as John tries to find more money to pay a high priced call girl. This culminates in the longest toilet diarrhea scene in history after John eats a bad hot dog. Sound funny to you? For ten minutes of John grunting and farting? Besides, this shitty bit has was been done to death by the Farrelly brothers in “Dumb and Dumber” and in Police Academy and by Ben Stiller in “Along Came Polly.” It’s a cheap laugh but people around me were moaning, and not in a good way. I kept wanting to light a match. This scene truly stunk.
John’s buddy, played by the often-brilliant comedian Jeff Ross, seemed pretty restrained. He was like a sidekick without the kick.
There was one bright performance by actress Bellamy Young who played John’s wife. She was sexy and smart and, yes, ‘real.’ And she should win the Bronze Star for having to kiss John over and over again in some sort of recreation of The Spanish Inquisition. I was wondering if she kept spit bags between takes. So, nice of you John to write yourself that many kissing scenes.
Also, I liked the performance by their threesome partner, actress Hudson Leick, who plays a fledging rock star with an appetite for the laydees.
And Good Lord do we really have to see John having orgasm after orgasm as his flabby belly slides around the sheets?! How the hell could this guy convince anyone to bang him?
But, hey, there is a pretty hot girl-kissing-girl scene in the movie even if we’ve seen it a million times on 'Girls Gone Wild' and every My Space page. It’s as if this movie was written by a thirteen-year-old boy (who stutters).
They even did the rip-off at the end movie credits of the actors blowing their lines and laughing. Haven’t we seen this enough? I think we should all sign petitions to please stop showing us bloopers at the ends of movies and TV shows. It’s annoying. It’s hard to imagine something ruining the credits but John managed to do that. Learn your fucking lines actors! How much are you making?
Michael De Lorenzo did an okay in his first directing gig, even though the shots were kind of static and more like sitcom directing. Also, some of the sets and lighting looked like they were from a Pomona City College film class (for example the psychologist’s office).
Before the screening, the red carpet walkup was jam packed with celebs and media and John was very pleasant and I kept wondering when someone was going to ask him how often his sister gave him head and did she still have braces. Something that John would have gleefully asked a celebrity when he worked for Howard. But it was all sanitized like we were all at the premiere of “Harry Potter and The Horny Threesome.”
I did manage to shout out to John, “Who are you voting for?” and he said, “Sanjaya” (Is that still topical?) I also asked him if Howard would like the movie and John said, “He will LOVE it.” Hmm... we’ll see. But I think Howard may rip this movie a new one.
Remember John when you would ask Barbara Walters on the red carpet if she liked anal sex? Where was that guy on screen? Instead, you’ve become weepy over losing your girlfriend and dressing up as a sad clown. Boo hoo. This was like the Scrabble of comedy films. A six letter word that = BORING.
Now, don’t get me wrong, John Melendez truly is a nice guy in person. I spoke to him and I have nothing personally against him and I even appreciate the courage it takes to produce and write and take a huge risk by casting yourself in the lead. But do we really need to see John Melendez as a leading man -- his plump back freshly waxed for his sex scenes? Who the hell wants to see that?!
Face it John... you aren’t Tom Hanks... or Adam Sandler... or even Rob Schneider. Deuce Bigalow is “A Beautiful Mind” compared to “One... Two... More.”
I also think National Lampoon will have a hard time with younger audiences (under forty) looking for riskier cutting edge comedies. They add should add to the poster, “Free blood pressure check with every ticket.”
The industry audience politely chuckled in a few spots -- and this should have been a very supportive crowd (all John’s buddies). But I think you will hear crickets in a regular theater. The ones that are still awake.
So, to wrap things up, “One Two More” was mildly amusing, like a picking off a scab.
Now , I probably shouldn’t critize Melendez and his film, since I would give a testicle to be on The Tonight Show, but hey, Corpsy has to call ‘em as he sees them.
My advice, save your money and get your carpets cleaned. This movie won’t last as long as One...Two...
One out of five skulls.