How many people watch a film and say to themselves "I don't even remember that one being out in theaters, but it's great!"? I've done that from time to time and one of the films I've loved since first watching it is the Jon Favreau directed "Made". Yes, that Jon Favreau.....of "Elf" fame.....oh and he did a couple of little comic book flicks that you may have heard of; "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2". Ring a bell?
It's nearly impossible to make me uncomfortable watching a comedy, but this one pulls it off. Jon Favreau and his buddy, Vince Vaughn are simply amazing in this movie. Their skills really started to come front and center on "Made". Both had previously been in "Rudy" and "Swingers" together. Favreau pretty much plays it straight and though the story really centers on him and how he handles a world that he is having trouble getting a hold of. The movie is stolen by Vaughn. This is, without any doubt, the best performance he has ever given. Right from the onset, you see he is potentially a character you could like, but every time he has a chance to say or do the right thing, he falters and relies on his want to be a shady character.....or a "made" man.
The cast is really solid. Besides Favreau and Vaughn, Peter Falk, Sean Combs, and Faizon Love turn in stellar performances. Oh, and lest I forget, Famke Janssen, Sam Rockwell, and Vincent Pastore all are on top of their game as well. Rockwell has two unforgettably uncomfortable scenes with Vaughn, involving a tip, a fish bowl, the comfort level of a hotel room, and where to find women.
Bobby (Favreau) is a part time boxer, construction worker, and muscle for his stripper girlfriend (Janssen). Bobby badly wants to be able to take care of her and her daughter on the up and up. But, after roughing up a guy at a bachelor party, he becomes indebted to local mob boss, Max. Max needs Bobby for a job. Bobby recommends that his friend Ricky (Vaughn) do the job and Max allows Ricky to be involved, so long as Bobby is. You see Max hates Ricky because Ricky "lost" Max's cleaning van and isn't known for his smarts or trustworthiness. Max really does like Bobby and that's the only reason that he keeps Ricky around doing odd jobs. One scene that is almost fall down funny is Ricky being playfully whipped by an architect at a job site.
The guys have to hop a plane to New York, leaving their L.A. lifestyle behind to make a "drop". The scene between Ricky and the stewardess on the plane is one of the most funny and nerve wrecking 5 minutes in film history.....I don't think I'm over selling it. In New York, the guys meet Driver Jimmy (Pastore), Screech (Dustin Diamond as himself) "Did you just let Screech into the fucking club?!!!", and Ruiz (Combs). Combs is excellent as a mover and shaker and engineer of deals and his side kick Horace (Faizon Love) is a nice punching bag for Ruiz.
Needless to say, Ricky's antics get Bobby and him into all sorts of miserable situations. Those situations are funny, even though there is potential for anger and violence. Vaughn's character simply exacerbates every situation with his nonsense and want to be a "player". Seriously, if you have not seen this movie and you like Vince Vaughn, then rent it. Or buy it. It's a very solid, well made comedy, that makes you laugh and squirm at the same time. How? I don't know.......Vaughn is just that damn good.
"The movies are great medicine, thank you Thomas Edison, for giving us the best years of our lives"
The Statler Brothers