Bad Trip (January 5/06)
Filmed in 1999 as Tyrone, Bad Trip is a thoroughly obnoxious comedy revolving around two idiotic potheads - Josh (Ethan Suplee) and Sam (Kevin Connolly) - who, en route to a fun-filled week at Mardi Gras, find themselves stranded in a backwoods town called Fark. There, the two must contend with mean-spirited cops, evil drug dealers, and a pair of lusty, tempestuous waitresses. It seems fairly obvious that Bad Trip has been unearthed to capitalize on Connolly (HBO's Entourage) and Suplee's (NBC's My Name is Earl) sudden fame, but it's honestly not difficult to see why the film hasn't seen the light of day until now. While not exactly terrible, the film comes off as thoroughly pointless and obvious; worse yet, there's very little here that's actually funny. The inclusion of some needlessly sentimental moments in the film's third act certainly doesn't help matters, nor does the bizarre, action-packed finale. And though Suplee essentially plays a variation on his My Name is Earl character, there's really nothing here worth recommending.
Partner(s) is a silly and uneven (yet undeniably likeable) romantic comedy revolving around the hijinks that ensue when a lawyer named Dave Denali (Jay Harrington) is assigned a high-profile case just because he's gay - despite the fact that he is irredeemably straight. Far more problematic is Dave's attraction to his client's daughter (played Brooke Langton), which he obviously can't act on - though a rival lawyer at the firm (Julie Bowen) is convinced Dave is faking and would like nothing more than to reverse-out him. Though writer/director Dave Diamond employs an extremely predictable structure - complete with a melodramatic and sentimental conclusion - that goes exactly where one might imagine, Partner(s) generally remains an entertaining and enjoyable piece of work (something that can be attributed to the breezy tone and uniformly charismatic performances). Having said that, Diamond does tend to fall back on sitcom-style cliches more often than he should (something that's particularly true in terms of the jokes), and there's an entire subplot involving two of Dave's homophobic coworkers that's entirely unnecessary and should have been excised. Still, even with its flaws, Partner(s) is a hard film to entirely dislike (any movie with a premise that wacky can't be all bad).