Sep 9, 2011

[Movies] Buying The Cow (2002)

Buying The Cow (2002)Every now and then I start watching movies in a manner that may seem like I'm doing circuit training for an international Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon tournament. This usually involves watching a series of movies that follow a singular them such as a common director, actor or even concept. It's not that I play a lot of Six Degree of Kevin Bacon, but a geek needs to be prepared for any eventuality.

This can be a lot of fun since it means you get to discover a bunch of different movies that you had never heard of before you started searching IMDb or Wikipedia for work related to a particular artist or whatever. It can also be pretty painful since there's also a good reason that certain movies never escape the direct-to-video market. No matter how you look at it though, the whole activity is bound to be educational and it'll give you greater insight into what your person of focus has had to go through to become the major celebrity he or she may be today.

In this case, this is part of a series of movies favoring one of my favorite actors, Ryan Reynolds. I know, he's not exactly in the running to win an Oscar or participate in a life-changing movie anytime soon. But allow me this moment of shallowness as I admit that I just find him really hot and thus I've decided to suffer through a number of his lesser known movies just to see how they went. And whether or not he was shirtless.

And this movie had a lot of that.

Buying the Cow is a 2002 comedy directed by Walt Becker who also wrote the screenplay together with Peter W. Nelson. Given this is the same guy who directed the Ryan Reynolds comedy classic Van Wilder, you can already determine what kind of movie this is going to be like.

To summarize the plot, we have David (Jerry O'Connell) who has been in a long term relationship with Sarah (Bridgett Wilson). He's finally reached that classic plateau in any relationship where it seems the only way to move forward is to break up with the girl or agree to get married - but of course David isn't sure if he's ready for that. Around the same time, his friend Tyler (Ron Livingston) has sent word that he's given up his womanizing ways and is about to get married. Cue more pressure for our friend David here.

But with Sarah leaving for an out-of-town business trip, David finds himself wanting to weigh his options more fully in her absence. His friends Jonesy (Bill Bellamy) and Michael (Ryan Reynolds) try to support him but have different options as to what he should do. Jonesy says he should push through with getting married while Michael is adamantly against it. Thus he decides to test the waters and see if there are other women out there for him along with the remote hope of connecting with a woman he thought to be "the one" after a chance encounter many years ago.

The core plot of the movie is pretty simple and not all that engaging. Jerry O'Connell has devoted an entire segment of his career to acting bewildered and confused and downright panic-stricken whether or not this is fully warranted. It gets tiring after a time and for some reason I never felt any true reason to be interested in the resolution of his relationship troubles. He just gets bounced from one sequence to the next without true rhyme or reason.

Ryan Reynolds arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards.Image via WikipediaRyan Reynolds has his own side-plot that seems to be totally separate from the rest of the movie. In fact, a movie probably could have been made based on this side-plot alone, starting from the point that he wakes up in bed with a gay man after a night of drugs, drinking and general debauchery. He spends the movie trying to figure out what exactly happened that night and whether or not he is in fact gay and not the horrible womanizer that he's been over the years. But he does have a lot of gratuitous nudity (and I'm not just talking about shirtlessness here). I don't know if I'm biased in stating this, but I did find a lot of his scenes and sequences pretty hilarious, despite a lot of the painful awkwardness linked to the events.

The movie felt more like the kinds of comedies that were the mainstay of the 80's and 90's. In fact, if you added in more ridiculous sight gags and cheap antics then you could probably slap on the National Lampoon name right before the title. Thus the movie is only mildly entertaining with only true benefit of a lot of skin being shown on the part of Ryan Reynolds. Yay me.

Buying the Cow is not a movie you absolutely need to see - the bulk of the "interesting" scenes involving Ryan Reynolds are largely available online as it is. But if you have nothing better to do, then I suppose you can still waste time on this piece. More likely due to bias, the movie still manages a moderate 2 insane ways to make Ryan Reynolds appear to be a preening gay man out of a possible 5.

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