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STUDIO: Warner Brothers
MSRP: $27.98
RATED: PG-13
RUNNING TIME: 93 min
SPECIAL FEATURES:
    Filmmaker’s Commentary
    Additional Scenes

THE PITCH

Jon Heder watches the clock die at 14:59.  

THE HUMANS

Jon Heder, Diane Keaton, Jeff Daniels, Anna Faris, Sarah Chalke, Dorian Missick and Eli Wallach


No matter how hard she tried, Diane Keaton couldn’t morph into Cosby.


THE NUTSHELL

Mama’s Boy is a film that treads familiar material. Man-children and their arrested development can be be awakened by kindness and understanding.  Jeffrey Manus is another in a long line of fresh-faced dweebs that has to awaken. Throw in a wild girl and a doting mom and you’ve got the same shit as before. I want to say that Diane Keaton was able to mine something new out of this material. But, this is the crazy glove-wearing Keaton of modern times. Annie Hall was a long time ago.


Two minutes. Broom Closet. The Purple Rose of Cairo opens in Annie Hall.


THE LOWDOWN

When did the deluge start? After making my way through the opening look at Jeffrey’s past, I started to try and piece it all together. First-time director Tim Hamilton pieces a lot of his tale from Cameron Crowe’s early work and that all encompassing bullshit machine known as nostalgia. Mama’s Boy asks you to stomach down excuses for Jeffrey’s infantile behavior. He’s creative, but can’t find his niche.

Well, neither can I. But, I hit some Wild Turkey and try to find my way to a keyboard that I haven’t smashed. Jeffrey Manus (Jon Heder) is the hero of this picture. He never quote found his footing as a kid and now he’s a weird adult working as a bookstore display designer. Poor little Jeffrey lives with his mother that does her best to humor his bullshit. That is until Jeff Daniels shows up to whisk the lady away to a more reasonable lifestyle.


I would fuck a decent role out of her. That’s not so much a caption as a proclamation.


Naturally, it’s a battle of the wits to determine whether or not Jeffrey will grow up. Also, Anna Faris shows up and does her schtick for a bit. Faris tends to do the same thing in every movie, but I’d hit it with a brick. Eli Wallach gets a great bit role, but it only seems to serve as a reminder that the man isn’t dead yet. In the end, it all comes back to Jon Heder.

When is Heder finally going to play retarded? I don’t mean magic retard. I want to see Heder stretch into the role that his entire career has been pointing like the flaming arrow of a backwoods Kid Icarus. Years and years have shown a steady decline into the ultimate role of a retard with brute strength and the emotional capacity of Captain Pike. I don’t want to give any studios any ideas, but you know where this all leads. Jon Heder in a remote controlled bathtub living like a Spice Guild Navigator stewing in his feces.


Keanu wasn’t willing at first. I told him that if he could deal with the prolapsed anus, that doors would open. The kind of doors that only Jan de Bont and Jeff Daniels could open. We didn’t really do much. Jan got bored and I did some more lines. But, Keanu knew the score. To get from Parenthood to Devil’s Advocate, it’s going to take a sore ass, patience and the ability to cry softly into pleather couch cushions.


THE PACKAGE

Mama‘s Boy arrives on DVD with a limp-dick disc. I don’t see why Warner Brothers should’ve went to the nines for this release. Hell, they were wise to up their rental chances by slapping on a cheap pan and scan transfer. But, I don’t want to discuss rental and sales models with you, people. Hell, that’s part of the reason why this review is going up later than I wanted.


Look, I didn’t know that was going to happen. It’s just that I see a hole, I see a problem. I like to solve problems and…I’ll just shut up.


The A/V Quality is pretty fair. I didn’t notice much edge enhancement, but there was nothing on the disc to really win you over. The audio is a fair mix that didn’t experience any dropout. The additional scenes were forgettable, but what made the experience for me was the director’s commentary. I’ve never heard such a damning audio track for a first-time director. It’s almost like he a laundry list of areas that he failed and he made a point to fixate on them.

In the end, Mama‘s Boy is dismissible. That’s one of the worst things you can lobby at a film. Sure, it doesn’t make it the poorest slice of fiction since The Protocols of Zion, but it tells the audience something. It says that it’s a product that’s made to be ignored. No one can take anything you have to say seriously, if your work isn’t serious.


Jared Hess goes boldly where many men have gone before.


4.9 out of 10