When I think of the movies that made me laugh the hardest so far this year – Goon, 21 Jump Street, Ted, Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie – nothing seems to have as much fearlessness in terms of its humor than the Danish film, Klown. Once in a while a comedy comes along which makes us realize that the current comedic milieu in Hollywood has become stale. When 40-Year-Old Virgin came out it was a refreshing change from the PG-rated comedies that we were being inundated with at the time. Then there was Knocked Up and Superbad and suddenly every comedy coming out of Hollywood was Apatowian. No complaints on my end. These comedies were necessary. They pushed the envelope and gave us some hard R-rated humor but inevitably things can get a little overly ripe. Klown pushes that envelope much further and is a wake-up call to Apatow and crew to work a little harder to keep things fresh.
Klown is a roadtrip / buddy comedy from Danish comedians Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam. It is sort of a follow up to Christensen and Hvam’s six-season television series of the same name. The main characters are the same but whereas the television show drew influences from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Office” the film is Christensen and Hvam’s answer to The Hangover and Sideways. The story focuses on Frank (played by Frank Hvam), a man who finds out his wife is pregnant but that she is wary of going through with the pregnancy because she feels Frank is not quite ready to be a father yet. In a desperate attempt to convince her he is father material, Frank kidnaps his eleven-year-old nephew, Bo, and takes him along on a canoeing trip with his buddy, Casper (played by Casper Christensen). This is not your everyday, wholesome canoe trip: Casper has nicknamed their outing “Tour de Pussy” and is determined to sleep with as many beautiful, underage women that he can before they reach their ultimate destination at Denmark’s most exclusive brothel located off the river. Not the kind of trip you’d want to bring an eleven-year-old on; however, Frank and Casper tow the young lad along on a series of debaucherous adventures.
The film was immediately picked up by The Hangover director/producer, Todd Phillips, for an American remake with Danny McBride to write the screenplay and star in the film. The phrase, “why didn’t we think of that,” must have been echoing in their heads during that purchase. Hvam and Christensen came up with a list of twenty or so taboos that they wanted to address in their television series from cannibalism and pedophilia to Cancer, HIV, and racism. They don’t hold back in their film either. Starting with Frank accidentally giving his mother-in-law a “pearl necklace” (no, not that kind of pearl necklace) and culminating in a depraved picture montage a la The Hangover, the humor is no holds barred. But underneath the tiny-penis jokes, butt sex, and awkward threesomes is a sweet story about a man who is fighting as hard as he can for his relationship. It’s the most perversely funny movie of the year but it is a story with heart and that’s what makes Klown such an invigorating comedy. May Hollywood learn a lesson from these Danes: push that envelope as hard as you can; nothing is too taboo when it comes to comedy!
The film which releases in select theaters Friday, July 27th can be seen in New York at Village East Cinemas, in Los Angeles at Cinefamily, and in Austin at Alamo Drafthouse. It can also be seen with Video-On-Demand on Latino Review via our partner service, Distrify. Please click on the player below to get started watching one of the funniest films of the year.