The Unicorn: Finding a Third is Menage a Tricky – Hulu Review

Lauren Lapkus and Nick Rutherford star in this tale of a couple trying to branch out.

SUMMARY

Mal and Cal (Lapkus and Rutherford) are a couple that have been together for seven years, engaged for four, and have not yet set a date to get married. They go to the vow renewal of Malory’s parents (Beverly D’Angelo and John Kapelos) and find out that the couple have kept their marriage alive through being sexually adventurous. That evening, the pair go out to try and reinvigorate their relationship and end up deciding that they should have a threesome. They end up running into a very open young woman named Jesse (Lucy Hale), a gay strip club owner/dancer named Tyson (Beck Bennett), and a very helpful “masseuse” named April (Dree Hemingway) in their hunt to find the elusive “unicorn,” the person that is down for a threeway with a couple. 

That face when you realize your parents are swingers.

END SUMMARY

This movie asks the important question: Is everyone having group sex except you? It’s similar to the trope of most high school or college sex comedies where everyone feels like they’re the only one that isn’t sexually active. The thing is, this is never really about having sex or having group sex or whether it’s a good idea or not; just having to ask the question means that you are feeling insecure about something. In the case of the film, it’s that Mal and Cal both are trying to avoid the fact that their relationship has grown extremely stagnant. They feel like the idea of having a threesome is the best way to breathe new life into their rut, but they instead find out that there are lots of things that they didn’t know about each other. 

They’re super awkward.

That’s actually the subtle thing The Unicorn does that separates it from other, similar, sex comedies. There are moments of genuine emotional honesty that come out as the two find out that there are always more layers to the other person than you would expect. Unfortunately, that also means that there are things that the other person didn’t feel comfortable sharing, and if you’ve been together for seven years, you should probably not have a ton of those. Everyone has secrets, to be sure, but most of the ones in this movie are just told to the other person to avoid an honest discussion, something that ends up overwhelming the pair as more and more come out. While Lapkus and Rutherford are both more naturally comical, they also pull off the dramatic scenes well.

There are some really solid emotional scenes.

The supporting cast are also excellent. Each of the potential partners that the couple tries to find are all a different kind of inappropriate for them. Hale plays Jesse as being fairly ambiguous as to what she actually wants, and the final scene with her plays out perfectly. Bennett is… well, Beck Bennett is just damned funny. Here, he thrives on being just the right kind of inappropriate. Hemingway is a combination of effortlessly sexy and naturally understanding and contemplative. They’re all interesting characters that evoke different things from our leads. However, at the end, it seems likely that no one would ever REALLY be the right person for them, because they were only ever trying to find a way to avoid dealing with reality. As such, the right person doesn’t exist, like a unicorn.

God, Beck Bennett nails this character.

Overall, it’s a decent movie, but I wasn’t blown away by it. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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The Grouch on the Couch Rants: Holmes and Watson

BY THE GROUCH ON THE COUCH

I hate this movie too much to give it a stinger.

SUMMARY

Sherlock Holmes (Will “What the hell happened” Ferrell) and John Watson (John C. “Seriously, you guys are usually funny” Reilly) try to protect the queen from being murdered by James Moriarity (Ralph “God, I hope you got this in cash up front” Fiennes). Everything else that would potentially be plot is irrelevant crap.

HolmesWatson - 1Leads.jpg
Shame on you.

END SUMMARY

Because of the bad reviews, I waited until I didn’t have to pay for this movie. I should have seen it in theaters so I would have actual damages for my impending tort claim against this film. This took up like 90 minutes of my life. 90 minutes I could have spent doing anything else. I could have watched Plan 9 From Outer Space, because at least that’s the FUN kind of bad. This film somehow was never even close to amusing.

HolmesWatson - 2Selfie
Oh wow, a selfie joke. This is groundbreaking.

I have never seen a movie this aggressively unfunny. Even the parts of this movie that seem like they SHOULD be funny, particularly given the relatively high-level comedians who are found in the cast, somehow become irritating and flat. Part of it is that the film never feels like it’s surprising the audience. The more obvious the joke, the more likely it’s going to be what’s said next, so why do we even need them to say it? There’s an episode of South Park where Stan starts to see that everything around him is actually crap, envisioning bad films as filled with talking and dancing turds. This film was taken from that episode, then given brain damage from a series of sledgehammer blows to the head, then set on fire by crackheads. This movie makes me almost want to apologize to Uwe Boll for the things I’ve said about him. Almost.

HolmesWatson - 3Marketing
The marketing is them doing this. THIS WAS WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO GET PEOPLE TO SEE THIS FILM.

It’s tough to really nail down everything that doesn’t work here, but if I had to say why I particularly hate it, it’s that nobody in the film appears to be trying. Ferrell and Reilly don’t appear to be invested in any part of this, going through the motions almost robotically without any of their added flair. In 2015, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig appeared in a movie for Lifetime called A Deadly Adoption in which they both play actual Lifetime characters with complete sincerity, the “joke” being that Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig both played straight characters in a Lifetime film. A lot of critics agreed that wasn’t really funny. I actually thought it was kind of amusing, because at least it was original to spend all the time and effort to create a comedy set-up and then play it straight. I would respect this movie it was going for something like that. It wouldn’t be fun, sure, but it would at least have shown that they were trying.

HolmesWatson - 4DeadlyAdoption
Give this a shot if you’re drunk.

What’s extremely weird about the movie is that it can never decide what any of the characters are. It’s like they had 3 different drafts of the movie which each had completely different interpretations of Holmes and Watson and they decided to use all of them. Holmes is portrayed simultaneously as a legitimate genius, a complete idiot, and also an insane person. This isn’t like in Without a Clue or They Might Be Giants where the character is supposed to be completely separate from the actual fictional Sherlock Holmes, thus explaining why they’re not actually good detectives. This movie features Sherlock being honored as one of the most superior minds in the world, something that just doesn’t sync with watching him constantly fumbling around doing slapstick. Watson, who at least can be characterized as a bumbling sidekick, is therefore forced to drop down in intelligence to the point of being a complete fool, despite still ALSO being a recognized figure for his work with Holmes. I think this is why this particular strain of comedic take on Holmes doesn’t quite work. You can’t have both of them be simultaneously competent and incompetent. That’s not to say that films haven’t pulled that off, in fact The Private Eyes with Tim Conway and Don Knotts does it with a pair of detectives, but it only works there because the entire world of the movie is absurd. This film can never decide how serious it is supposed to be and that makes for a lousy comedy.

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They made this movie better 40 years ago.

The supporting characters suffer from similar problems, such as Holmes’s and Watson’s love interests Dr. Hart and the Feral Millie (Rebecca Hall and Lauren Lapkus), who are completely absurd except when they aren’t. Similar things happen with the villain *SPOILERS BUT F*CK THIS MOVIE*, Mrs. Hudson (Kelly Macdonald), who is revealed to be the mastermind of a brilliant scheme that is also pointlessly complicated and dumb. Seriously, these are all good people, and none of them could get a chuckle out of me. 

I will say that one thing did make me laugh: There’s a scene on the Titanic with Billy Zane, and that’s a fun cameo. That’s about it.

Avoid this movie like the plague. I cannot believe the same person that wrote Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder wrote this. Someone should genuinely check on Etan Cohen to make sure he’s okay. I know all of these people will do better in the future, but this… this was rough. That’s about all I can say.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.