‘InAPPropriate’ and unfunny in the extreme
A collection of racially insensitive and sexually off-color gags that just don’t work.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
‘InAPPropriate Comedy,’ with Adrien Brody, Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez, Ari Shaffir and Lindsay Lohan. Directed by Vince Offer. 82 minutes. Rate R for crude sexual content and language. Several theaters.
At long last, a sketch-comedy film for those who found the later “Scary Movie” installments and “Movie 43” to be entirely too highbrow for their tastes.
A collection of racially insensitive and sexually off-color gags that don’t so much test comedy’s boundaries as make you wonder how bad the gags they threw out were, “InAPPropriate Comedy” is the only time in cinema history you’re likely to see Oscar-winner Adrien Brody’s name in the credits alongside Lindsay Lohan’s.
The first joke that doesn’t work is the title, a play on cellphone applications. The connecting device here is a phone where you can punch up the “Flirty Harry” app — Brody, as a gay, pink Capri-pants wearing Dirty Harry — or “Blackass,” a black ensemble version of “Jackass,” or “The Porno Review,” which pairs Rob Schneider and Michelle Rodriguez as critics passing judgment on an assortment of comically bad porn films.
A bit that works: the “Blackass” guys racing Dumpsters downhill toward a sewage treatment plant. Another? “The Porno Review” passing judgment on a Japanese film dubbed with ineptly mismatched dialogue.
Stereotypes are the source of much of the “fun” here, most of them in Ari Shaffir’s many segments under the app “The Amazing Racist.” He dons KKK robes, or dresses as a priest and tries to get shoppers at a Jewish grocery store to sign a petition “apologizing for killing Jesus.”
He puts on slave-trader garb and dolls up an assistant as a Roman slave-galley overseer and tries to convince black people to accept “a free, one-way boat ride back to Africa.” Watermelon and fried chicken are the added enticements to that voyage.
Sacha Baron Cohen could have made that funny. He would have taken the risk to the next level — maybe staging fights with the offended, but also including footage of people he actually ambushed, in character, and getting their reactions.
Shaffir, who earns points for novelty, doesn’t have the guts to try it that way. Everyone he “confronts,” from “Mexicans” he wants to trick into surrendering to Border Patrol, to the yarmulke wearers in the market to the people of color he annoys in front of his leaky boat, are actors who can’t improv their way out of this jam.
Nor can he.
The Brody bits haven’t a laugh in them and make you wonder what he found funny in all the broad gay sex innuendos. Lohan, dressed like Marilyn Monroe wearing a court-ordered ankle bracelet, looks sad and unhealthy.
Which fits “InAPPropriate Comedy” to a T.