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From the Wire: Gilchrist on 'Tim and Eric'

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire March 6, 2012 at 3:31PM

One critic finds value -- and Cameron Crowe parallels -- in the maligned cult comedy.
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"Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie."
"Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie."

Here's a nice counterpoint to Roger Ebert's half-star nega-rave of "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie."  At Box Office Magazine, Todd Gilchrist penned a three star review of the film that gives it a bit more consideration than many other critic.  Gilchrist moves beyond the simple is-it-funny-or-not rubric to observe that "B$M"'s Hollywood satire extends well past the early scenes where writer/director/stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim premiere their 3-minute, $1 billion-budgeted disaster "Diamond Jim," starring a Johnny Depp lookalike.  He writes:

"What's really interesting about 'Billion Dollar Movie,' however, is the way it satirizes the ongoing deluge of feel-good movies released about characters making dramatic changes in their life-seeking new ambitions, undertaking new challenges, assuming responsibilities they never faced before. (The most immediate point of comparison is 'We Bought a Zoo,' although technically most of Cameron Crowe's movies from the past two decades would fit the bill.) ...The blind faith with which they leap into running the mall is emblematic of a kind of wish-fulfillment that's both inspiring and irresponsible, and this film indulges the former but exposes the latter, especially when it cops out and provides Tim and Eric a macabre but technically 'happy' ending."

Look it's not "Certified Copy" -- although now I'm thinking about a version of "Certified Copy" starring Heidecker and Wareheim, and I'm kind of loving it -- but you're starting to see some interesting writing bubbling up around "Tim and Eric" (see also Nick Pinkerton's interesting examination of the film's apoco-capitalistic overtones in The Village Voice).  A lot of it is vitriolic, some of it is mean (some of that is funny), but a few are well-reasoned and measured like Gilchrist's.  I must say the idea of a "Tim and Eric" double feature with "We Bought a Zoo" sounds really intriguing.  Man-eating wolves followed by mopey, medicated tigers.  I dig it.

This article is related to: From the Wire, Todd Gilchrist


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