Rated R - Running Time: 1:27 - Released 4/20/01

Tom Green, the outrageous Canadian who rose to stardom on his self-named MTV show and has since achieved added fame as the new husband of Drew Barrymore, is, in his way, a talented comic. His style, which could perhaps most aptly be compared to Jim Carrey or the late Andy Kaufman (whom Carrey played in Man On The Moon), is a mix of high-energy physical schtick and off-the-wall, surrealistic concept art. Or perhaps he's just criminally insane. At any rate, his self-indulgent writing/directing debut, Freddy Got Fingered, shows that while he's got the energy (and perhaps the mentality) of a 5-year-old, he has not yet achieved the judicious sensibilities required of a director. With a script that borders between the idiotic and the indecipherable, and a performance to match, Freddy Got Fingered is pure masturbation, and I'm sorry to say I mean that both literally and figuratively. Anyone familiar with Green's TV show knows that he will do anything in front of the camera, but there comes a point when covering oneself in some disgusting substance, or saying the same inane word over and over again, or simply standing and screaming, just isn't funny anymore.

Green plays Gord Brody, a 28-year-old aspiring cartoon animator whose drawings, while colorful and cleverly drawn, don't make the slightest bit of sense. Undaunted by this, he decides to leave his parents' home in Portland and move to Hollywood to try to make it in the big time. His parents (Rip Torn, Julie Hagerty) are proud that he's striking out on his own, but mainly they're just happy he's leaving. His first job is at a cheese sandwich factory, where he dances around on the conveyor belts and yells at his co-workers, played by a bunch of old ladies who pretend not to notice him. Then he goes to an animation studio where we are treated to a cameo by bride Barrymore, spending the scene trying desperately not to laugh at his every move. Soon he's back home engaging in an infantile behavior contest with his dad, but eventually he meets his romantic interest (Marisa Coughlan), a pretty but physically disabled rocket scientist/masochist who wants only to be whipped on the shins, break the sound barrier in her wheelchair, and perform fellatio.

Had enough yet?

When taken in small amounts, Green can add spice to an otherwise conventional film (see Road Trip), but as the central character and director, he has been allowed too much free reign. His film wallows in pretentious self-absorption as if he thinks that anything he does is funny. Every time a scene seems to be making headway toward furthering the plot, it devolves into idiocy when he bursts into incomprehensible behavior or starts chanting some kind of irrelevant nonsense phrase.

It's truly sad when someone who is mentally unstable gets into drugs. But the real tragedy is when he's given $20 mil to make a movie about it. *

Copyright 2001 by John R. McEwen and The Republican

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