Writer-Director: Judd Apatow
With Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann
The summer's surprise hit comedy ($148 million domestic gross on a $30 million budget) had already clocked in at an epic 2hr.9min. when it played in theaters. So how can the DVD offer "over 3 hours of new outrageous bonus features"? With a batch of deleted and "extended" scenes, a video diary from the director and featurettes on such subjects as the roller-coaster ride (see actors puke!) and the sex scene, in which Heigl kept her top on but Rogen was butt-naked. "He looks like the Gerber baby," Apatow notes.
Among the extras are two fakeumentaries. Directing the Director purports that the studio, anxious about Apatow, hired director Bennett Miller (Capote) to oversee the project. "Judd thinks nothing matters except for 'funny,'" Miller tuts, "and that shows." The two men finally come to blows. It's all in fun, but not that much.
In another minidoc, Finding Ben Stone, Apatow suggests that before hiring Rogen he considered a half-dozen other actors. But Orlando Bloom wouldn't drop his Brit accent; James Franco went all Method on Heigl; Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader turned every line into an impression of impressions of Peter Falk, James Mason, Gregory Peck or Vincent Price; and Justin Long is all insolent or second-hand smoke. "It brings a little bit of indie cred to this," Long insists, cueng an Apatow explosion: "Who wants indie cred? We don't want indie cred. We're tryin' to be the next Dodgeball." Finally Apatow decides to cast himself but can't stop chewing gum. Heigl: "That's a weird acting choice." Apatow: "Well, the director likes it." I give this extra a 70 on the Laugh-o-meter.
I kept waiting for the totally gross stuff that would've got the movie NC-17'd, or banned, or arrested for indecent exposure. But the extras don't include much of redeeming prurient interest. The closest the DVD gets is a wonderfully foul rant by Jonah Hill (who graduated to star status in Superbad) on the lack of explicit oral sex in Brokeback Mountain. "What kind of country do we live in? ... I don't want Ang Lee tellin' me what's sexy and what's not." Heigl, listening to all this, poses the inevitable question: "Jonah, are you gay?" (Minor revelation from watching all the outtakes: However much of a strain on the eyes Hill might be, he's just naturally funny. Paul Rudd isn't.)
This is a DVD that is meant to be watched by guys like the guys in the movie; it helps to be young, idle and stoned. But it still lacks the snap of the same film when it was released. It could be that you need to be in a theater, in a crowd, and in the moment, to experience the shock of the new, or maybe just the new of the shock.