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'Freddy Got Fingered'

F for 'Freddy': Tom Green gross-out comedy is phenomenally stupid

Friday, April 20, 2001

By Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the MPAA discussions about "Freddy Got Fingered." Well, sure, it would receive an R rating but what would be the reasons? The association finally came up with this: "For crude sexual and bizarre humor and for strong language."

'Freddy Got Fingered'

RATING: R for crude sexual and bizarre humor and for strong language.

STARRING: Tom Green, Rip Torn.


WEB SITE: www.freddygot



Yes, I guess you might consider Tom Green swinging a newborn infant by the umbilical cord as if warming up for the Olympic hammer throw competition "crude" and "bizarre." Especially when you toss in the way the blood spatters around the hospital room and how Green cuts the cord with his teeth, as if gnawing open a stubborn bag of airplane pretzels.

The hospital is where he meets a blonde (Marisa Coughlan) named Betty who longs to invent a rocket-powered wheelchair and who enjoys having her lifeless legs lashed with a bamboo cane. These are the jokes, people.

Is "Freddy" outrageous? Absolutely. Is "Freddy" funny? I didn't think so but somebody gave this guy money to make a movie, so go figure.

"Freddy" stars Green as a 28-year-old Portland, Ore., man-child named Gord who lives in his parents' basement and dreams of becoming an animator. As the movie opens, Gord is about to board a bus for Los Angeles but his parents (Rip Torn and Julie Hagerty) surprise him with a blue Chrysler convertible. "It means I believe in my son. ... You make your daddy proud," Gord's dad, Jim, tells him.

After a brief stop at a horse stud farm -- the first of a string of animal genitalia gags -- Gord arrives in Los Angeles and starts work at a cheese sandwich company. He also blusters his way into a sidewalk meeting with an animation honcho who likes Gord's drawings of a cat with superpowers but advises he must "get inside the animals." He doesn't mean that literally, but Gord takes it that way.

Gord eventually returns to Portland where he torments his younger, more conventional brother Freddy (Eddie Kaye Thomas from "American Pie"), meets Betty and finds himself at increasing odds with his angry, spiteful father. Gord eventually devises a way to get back at his father -- and inventing a story about Freddy is just the beginning. The payback is unpredictable and crazily elaborate.

Green not only stars in "Freddy" but he directed it and co-wrote it with childhood buddy Derek Harvie. It appears as if Green and Harvie made a list of gross, disgusting or mildly clever bits (as when Green skateboards through a mall) and built a movie around them. The result is a comedy that seems like one overly long episode of "Saturday Night Live" with a cameo appearance by Drew Barrymore, who turns up as an office receptionist.

The one-time Comedy Network and MTV star, whose Canadian accent is unmistakable now and then, is best served in small doses. As in "Road Trip." As in "Charlie's Angels." He is like the overpowering party guest who is funny for about 10 minutes and who wears out his welcome after 90.

Near the end of "Freddy," there's a scene at an airport where a crowd awaits the arrival of a plane on the tarmac. Among the signs the extras are waving is this one: "When the [expletive] is this movie going to end?"

Funny, I was thinking the same thing.

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