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Comedy Movies - Envy - Jack Black and Ben Stiller


Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Christopher Walken, Rachel Weisz
Directed by Barry Levinson
Dreamworks 2004
100 minutes

Envy is a fun comedy that could have been much better.

This is a buddy movie of sorts. Tim, Ben Stiller, and Nick, Jack Black, are long-time friends who work at 3M (as in product placement). Nick is a dreamer who always thinks up get rich quick inventions. One day, he comes up with Vapoorize, the spray that makes poop disappear. Tim does not invest in this invention and soon starts to envy Nick who has become filthy rich.

This is a serious subject done somewhat lightly. The problem with this movie is Ben Stiller is his usual laid-back self, sort of a Chevy Chase on serious tranquilizers, and his performance sucks much of the energy out of this movie. Enter the always weird Christopher Walken as the J-Man, a sort of burned out hippie who consoles Tim when he gets fired, helps him out when he gets in trouble, and then tries to get a piece of the action when Jack Black, in the name of friendship, offers to make his best pal partners anyways.

A secondary plot line having to do with Nick's wife running for some office dilutes some of the fun. Rachel Weisz does not get much to do as Tim's wife although so much more could have been done with her own envies and how they in part drive her husband to kill a horse, try to hide the body, and shoot a vagrant.

The problem with this comedy DVD is that the movie you get is inferior to the movie you get the feeling could have been made.

The topic of two childhood buddies being separated by money and envy although both are basically good guys could have made for a much darker and funnier comic film.

Envy is your basic second rental for an evening at home.

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