How to be a Man

October 27, 2014


What are the defining features of a man that are important to be educated to the soon-to-be? How to Be a Man attempts to comically answer the question by providing a farcical journey of an over-the-hill comedian. The scenario which prompts the entire movie is borderline weak, nevertheless, the main character is very funny. The outlandish reaction to having breast cancer would be consistent with that character’s universe, however, it is not clear why he would be anywhere near a functioning member of society. The more absurd his instincts take him, the more absurd his ability to even be in a committed relationship appear. And there is no basis in the film for his antics other than this is how the character is. We would have expected then an outburst at his advertising firm for having a fart joke rejected much earlier than what the film suggests. Or, is it the case that because he is being filmed, he feels the need to act like how he thinks a man ought to act? If this is the case, then it is entirely plausible that he ends up shooting heroin out of the principle of the matter.


And that matter again is to record an educational guide for his would-be baby boy on how to live in a world where his father is absent. Yes, because this is a comedic film, and practically a stoner flick, we don’t see anything practical educated. The closest we get is a guide to how to eat a girl out. But the point is not of course to resemble anything realistic; but realism is exactly what makes art most genuine. The story could have had as many ridiculous scenes in it without compromising a suspension of disbelief. That again, an idiot like this could exist in the world all the way into his 40’s. Granted it is believable that a successful comedian could live off of his former earnings without having a clue as to how to properly be: we see this incredibly frequently with Hollywood successes.


All in all it’s a joke to read too much into the film, which makes it a disappointment.


Grade: C+



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