As I have previously noted Danish comedy Clown – The Movie had its Northamerican premiere the 22nd July 2011 in Montreal at the Fantasia Film Festival. I was somewhat doubtful that that kind of humor would be appropriate in Northamerica, – a humor Simon Howell calls “Scandinavian style”. There has now been a couple of reviews which all are generally positive.
Robert Koehler of Variety writes “Creator and co-stars Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam deliver a top-flight adaptation of a TV comedy in nutty, ribald ‘Clown the Movie,'” and furthermore “Though the sequences predictably lead to further trouble, especially for Frank, their details nevertheless surprise, while each setpiece tops the previous one for sheer outrageousness.”
Jay Seaver writes at eFilmCritic that “[t]he film saves some of its best material for the end, which certainly sends the audience out of the theater laughing just as hard as they had been throughout the rest of the movie. ‘Klovn’ is rude and tasteless, but done by people who know how to make that sort of material work, starting from an amusing place and getting funnier as it goes along.” He gives five star there. The review is also partly available on his blog where he gives 3.75 out of four stars.In what I believe is some press material from the film festival the Montreal Mirror wrote prior to the premiere: “Probably the (intentionally) funniest film you’ll see at the fest this year.” Based on the review-screener on a laptop Nathan Ripley writes “Clown elicits laughs that go beyond mere schadenfreude–-that’s pleasure taken purely at the expense of another’s pain, while I’m talking about the full-on ecstasy of taking on and living the humiliations of our fellow almost-broken men, and then shedding that pain as soon as the credits roll.”
Simon Howell’s review in Sound on Sight notes a conservatism: “For all the gag-reflex humor, though, there’s an underlying conservatism to Klovn that again recalls Apatow: despite Frank and Casper’s horrible acts, you never get the sense they’re bound for anything but redemption, and indeed the three-act structure feels all too carefully delineated.” but also praise the film with “Until then, though, Klovn remains amusing enough to please most fans of gleefully impolite humor.”
French language Métro Montreal-edition tells us “Et le film danois Clown a parfaitement rempli son mandat de faire rire…à gorge déployée”, states that “son passage au grand écran est une vraie réussite” and furthermore “Mélangeant le rire bien gras et un humour très irrévérencieux, ce “canoe trip” sur fond d’éducation sexuelle renferme de nombreux moments hilarants. La chimie et complicité entre les deux vedettes est très contagieuse.” Reviewer Pascal Grenier gives four out of five stars. Oui.T’Cha Dunlevy summarizes for The Gazette “Warning: not for the easily offended. Sex, drugs and nudity are all in the mix. But so is utter hilarity”. I had to look up “irreverent”, “ribald”, “debauched” and “bro” in the dictionary to fully understand the reviews. :-) (Conflict of interest: I received a free ticket to the movie.)