Made (2001)

(On DVD, August 2002) Though Made is billed as a mob comedy, this low-budget film written and directed by Jon Favreau is too often irritating to be consistently amusing. Vince Vaughn’s character is one of the most obnoxious protagonists in recent memory, and a large portion of the film’s suspense is in wondering when someone will finally shut up the loud self-centered idiot. The making-of featurette on the DVD, however, is gracious enough to let us know that this effect is fully intentional, as the filmmakers were self-consciously trying to mix an uncomfortable blend of comedy and tension. They recommend a second viewing. I’m not sure I’m willing to undergo that particular punishment. In any case, there are few bad things to say about the film’s technical polish; despite the low budget and the tight shooting schedule, the film looks great, makes good use of its LA/NYC location shooting and manages to build complete characters, despite how one may feel about them. (Though if someone can explain the sudden appearance of someone near the end…) If you liked Swingers (about which I have similar reservations), please feel free to enjoy Made.

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