A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018), Dir. David Wain

A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018), Dir. David Wain
Between the magazine and the radio show, I barely had time for my other hobbies, like being a terrible husband.
— Douglas Kenney, A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)

Stars: Will Forte, Domhnall Gleeson, Martin Mull. Joel McHale, Emmy Rossum, Camille Guaty, Thomas Lennon, Matt Walsh, Natasha Lyonne, Matt Lucas, Lonny Ross, Neil Casey, Armen Weitzman, Seth Green, Jon Daly, Rick Glassman, Elvy Yost, Harry Groener, Annette O'Toole, Joe Lo Truglio.
Director: David Wain
Screenplay: Michael Colton & John Aboud.

The first two thirds were quite well done, but without a real sense of balance between comedy and drama left this film out of touch with itself. A traditional biopic however, it never lands what is means too with a bit too much idol praising where the creators forget that not everyone loves Douglas Kennedy (Will Forte) the way they do. And a certain narrative devise that they choose is a tad confusing to said novice of the film's protagonist. 

This film was educational though, as the history of the legendary National Lampoon is new to me which blinded me from the films lack of trajectory. It is like Mad Men, in the style of the house party scene in Catch Me If You Can but the set up is really fun. You have two opposing power houses with Kennedy and Henry Beard (Domhnall Gleeson) creating something to pure admiration of one another, having the time of their lives just outside of College before the reality of adulthood can set in. These are young men with a brilliant sense of humour—though once again a novice so don't really know their humour (that is until the realisation of where Saturday Night Live came from).

Once the introduction is over the film doesn't allow any depth or connection form as the tone stays that one note which is a shame because a drugged up depressive spiral is such and easy place to take this—the traditional biopic almost expects it at this point. Kennedy was the starting force of something truly transformative and this film does not quite have the juice to represent that.

★ ★ 1/2