Starring Jack Black and Michael Cera
The collected talent associated with Year One has made us laugh for years. Jack Black and Michael Cera are very different comic actors, but both have had success. Writers Gene Stupnisky and Lee Eisenberg are part of the creative element on The Office. And director Harold Ramis co-wrote Animal House, Stripes, Groundhog Day, and Ghostbusters. So why does Year One try to get its biggest laughs out of scatalogical humor? I have no good answer for you, but the prehistorical buddy comedy that should be so much funnier spends more time in the gutter than it needs to. For a long time, it appeared that Year One would never be funnier than its concept, a hunter (Black) and a gatherer (Cera) are cast out of their village and hilarity, presumably, ensues. Their sole mission is to free the women they would like to lay with, both of whom have been enslaved. Outside of "lay with," all the dialogue is pointedly contemporary. That's by design, of course; it's part of the joke. And for an hour, Year One is better in theory than in practice. Then Oliver Platt shows up and he's very funny as an effeminate but entirely too hairy high priest of Sodom. A few scenes before that are pretty good, too, including Abraham (Hank Azaria) announcing his plan to circumcize every man in his village, and a brotherly spat between Cain and Abel (David Cross and Paul Rudd). But if you take a two-day road trip and the real highlights are the quirky rest stops, you need to find a new destination next time.