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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bob the Butler
Bob the Butler
First Independent Pictures // PG-13 // December 20, 2005
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted November 25, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

OK, who ordered the Romantic Comedy starring Tom Green and Brooke Shields, with a side order of two obnoxious kids, served on a dish of Canadian Production Value? Oh, you ordered this one? Well ... you're a moron.

Take Uncle Buck, Mrs. Doubtfire, and anything that Adam Sandler's ever done, toss 'em into a blender with a few shakes of Tom Green's dead movie career, making sure to reserve just a little bit of pity for the still-lovely Ms. Shields, and splatter the ungainly by-product onto DVD. Voila. Bob the Butler.

A harried and germophobic harridan hires a semi-retarded idiot to watch her two kids. Bonds form, audiences retch, credits roll, the end.

Seemingly well aware that the entire universe is still sick to death of his moronic "extreme" humor, Tom Green, in desperate need of a paycheck, flees back to Canada, where he hopes to re-shape his image into that of a family-friendly goofball, a la Robin Williams or Steve Martin.

Tom. Dude, please. You must have made a few truckfuls of money between MTV and those few astronomically abysmal movies from a few years back, plus I'm pretty sure you can collect some serious alimony from Drew Barrymore. (Her family's loaded!) Enjoy your life. Spend your money. Stop making movies. Incidentally, I find it bleakly hilarious that Tom Green, a guy who used to consider himself the world's greatest "extreme" comedian, is now slapping together limp and atrocious kiddie flicks for the DTV market.

I won't even bother to ask if you'd "buy" Tom Green and Brooke Shields in a romantic comedy, because I doubt that anyone I'd know would even be in a mall that offers such a purchase. Let's just leave it at this: Bob the Butler is precisely as awful as I'm trying to make it sound. Probably even worse, because I'm not that good a writer.

The screenplay (by a pair of first-timers) is limp domestic stupidity of the most reheated fashion. The director is Gary Sinyor. Once upon a time Gary directed a theatrical release called The Bachelor, which concisely explains why he's presently living in Canada and directing kiddie TV-movies with Tom Green. The two kids are, well ... I hate to be nasty towards children. But as actors ... these kids are awful. I had trouble believing they were even children, frankly.

So yeah. Tom Green getting hit in the face with a stream from a bidet. Tom Green having trouble with a blender. Tom Green talking in a silly voice to his pet rodents. Ah, and then the big romantic finale in which your kids fall asleep and you try not to vomit as you watch the aging-yet-lovely Brooke Shields swap spit with a guy who once jerked off a horse for yuks. And then released it into 2,200 theaters.

Oh, and there's a really smarmy and obnoxious French character in Bob the Butler. Just so all the comedy basics are covered.

The DVD

Video: It's a full frame affair, and the picture quality is just fine.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 with optional subtitles in Spanish.

Extras: There's a collection of outtakes & deleted scenes which you couldn't get me to watch if Jennifer Connelly called me at home and begged me to.

Final Thoughts

No, I don't like Tom Green. Pretty cruel of me, I know. Then again, I've seen Freddy Got Fingered. And Grind. And Stealing Harvard. And (god help me) Bob the Butler. So forgive me if I think my cruelty is warranted. The day Tom Green does something legitimately amusing, I'll be the first one to notice. Believe me.

But it's not just Green, honest. You could put any leading man into Bob the Butler and you'd still get one of the worst comedies you've ever seen. That assertion that it's made for kids and therefore due for a "break" makes no freaking sense to me. Children deserve better than this garbage.

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