Written By: François-Noël Vanasse
This is a difficult time. The world is riddled with anxiety, fear, and a deadly disease that has radically interrupted the daily life of nearly everything and everyone. So, for the whole month of April, The Porkchop Express presents: THE QUARANTINE STREAM, a 30 day series designed to help shine a light on a film that is worthy of your time and might very well be the distraction you need. In an effort to keep it fresh, we will be alternating between the big three services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu) and trying to keep the choices as varied as possible.
For Day Twenty-One, have some laughs with this loose comedy biopic. Now available on Netflix.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)
I always hated seeing Animal House (1978) at the top of comedy film rankings. It never appealed to me as a film. John Belushi will always be a legend, of course, and the film is very quotable. But Animal House never reached out to me as anything more than a dumb joke. The curse of growing up with late-night comedies airing on cable is that it can be decades before you ever get to see the uncensored version of a classic. I still don’t have great fondness for the film but I am better able to appreciate it for what it’s trying to do. Sweeping biopics like A Futile and Stupid Gesture help provide context for some of these things and is one of my favorite recent releases. It’s the story of Doug Kenney, who founded National Lampoon, directed by David Wain, who created Wet Hot American Summer and stars just about every funny weirdo in the business to portray their predecessors. It’s like a warm gentle blanket to step back into the alternative comedy scene of the early 70s from which National Lampoon, The Groundlings, Saturday Night Live, Animal House, and Caddyshack (1988) were spawned. It’s a glorified highlight reel, but boy what highs they were.