Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Year One Fails To Beget Laughs

Plus, The Proposal is a so-so rom-com.

by | June 18, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got Biblical bloopers (Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera) and an engagement of convenience (The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1206892[/tomatometer]

Year One

On paper, Year One sounds so promising; it’s an Old Testament goof starring Jack Black and Michael Cera (as well as an embarrassment of other top comedic talent) directed by Harold Ramis. Unfortunately, critics say the film’s jokes are nearly as ancient and musty as its protagonists. Black and Cera star as a pair of lazy hunter-gatherers who have been banished from their tribe. They become nomads and unwittingly provide a guided tour of the Book of Genesis, meeting the likes of Cain and Abel and visiting Sodom along the way. Critics say that as a satire, Year One is more profane than sacred, lacking the smarts of such previous historical comedies as History of the World: Part 1 or Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Worse, as a comedy it’s undisciplined, relying too much on the actors’ mugging at the expense of funny situations or dialogue. (Check out our collection of some of Jack Black’s most memorable movie faces.)



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1206888[/tomatometer]

The Proposal

No one attends a romantic comedy expecting a reinvention of the wheel; what they want is a fresh take on the familiar. So while some critics find The Proposal sweet and charming, others say it’s formulaic to the point of tedium. Sandra Bullock stars as a high-powered (but ice-cold) book editor who’s in a pickle: as a Canadian citizen, her work visa is about to expire. So she enlists her assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her to stay in the country, and travels with him to meet his wacky family in Alaska. Will these crazy kids make it? Some pundits say The Proposal is better than most of its genre, with good chemistry from its leads and a scene-stealing supporting turn from Betty White. Others, however, say it squanders its actors with increasingly farcical proceedings and generic plotting. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Bullock’s best-reviewed movies, as well as our interview with Betty White, where she tells us her Five Favorite Films.)


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • $9.99, aa stylistically bold stop-motion meditation on the meaning of life, is at 86 percent.
  • Under Our Skin, a documentary about the threat of Lyme disease, is at 83 percent.
  • End of the Line, a doc about the perils of overfishing, is at 81 percent.
  • The Windmill Movie, an autobiographical film by film professor and director Richard P. Rogers that was completed after his death by one of his students, is at 63 percent.
  • Dead Snow, a Norwegian horror/comedy about an army of Nazi zombies, is at 61 percent.
  • Woody Allen‘s Whatever Works, starring Larry David and Patricia Clarkson in the tale of an upper-crust New Yorker who longs to lead a bohemian existence, is at 53 percent.

Tag Cloud

TIFF latino BBC America Disney Channel nature TLC television Travel Channel Apple TV+ X-Men Box Office ViacomCBS Hulu Interview Fantasy Star Wars a nightmare on elm street boxing cinemax razzies hollywood game of thrones Marathons Showtime robots Marvel independent Crackle BBC One talk show nfl San Diego Comic-Con Christmas Animation SXSW binge true crime Spring TV 4/20 Captain marvel Pirates 21st Century Fox critics psychological thriller name the review venice Star Trek spy thriller Rocketman comics blaxploitation Elton John films Emmy Nominations Awards Tour sequels Pride Month Pop Television Critics Association quibi green book war Action The Walking Dead Ovation Sundance TV cartoon classics DC Universe Alien First Reviews Nickelodeon historical drama disaster Trophy Talk Bravo Marvel Television Ellie Kemper VICE Columbia Pictures Spike Thanksgiving Comic Book Horror spider-man Amazon slashers free movies 93rd Oscars theme song video on demand godzilla Spectrum Originals Heroines ID Best and Worst E3 Universal Sci-Fi docudrama mission: impossible Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Winter TV trailers Holiday TCM TCA Winter 2020 stop motion composers technology superman Schedule heist movie nbcuniversal The Walt Disney Company Cannes Shondaland australia TV renewals NYCC Tarantino First Look CBS AMC American Society of Cinematographers richard e. Grant fast and furious finale award winner BAFTA Broadway festivals Vudu Adult Swim Arrowverse Pixar Paramount Network book adaptation rotten prank ABC Family die hard 2020 FOX USA Tubi revenge batman PlayStation politics singing competition cops franchise Sundance Now Drama 99% WGN 007 transformers Trivia Polls and Games strong female leads Martial Arts HBO Writers Guild of America south america Chilling Adventures of Sabrina jurassic park serial killer remakes Shudder sequel Rocky Television Academy Avengers Baby Yoda Syfy cults Mystery Fall TV YouTube 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Video Games harry potter Exclusive Video Summer Extras hidden camera Legendary Lucasfilm PBS crossover asian-american archives Women's History Month sitcom The CW BET Awards new star wars movies PaleyFest cancelled TV shows kong Superheroe spinoff Film The Arrangement Mindy Kaling Amazon Prime french Photos Crunchyroll children's TV Quiz IFC Films mutant Warner Bros. GIFs tv talk psycho vampires Holidays teaser spanish language Turner Classic Movies parents Tomatazos Hear Us Out USA Network YouTube Premium james bond supernatural Comedy ESPN dark Freeform golden globe awards blockbuster CW Seed versus pirates of the caribbean 2021 Food Network Fox News japanese Acorn TV Netflix Christmas movies MTV canceled WarnerMedia political drama SDCC FX on Hulu women TCA Countdown cancelled television medical drama LGBTQ Kids & Family series TCA 2017 Esquire Nat Geo crime HBO Go Netflix superhero natural history Rock science fiction deadpool BBC Biopics Teen Apple thriller Amazon Prime Video Chernobyl Discovery Channel dceu YA The Purge NBC space italian scary movies Trailer Peacock cats comedies Super Bowl laika HBO Max miniseries A&E docuseries DirecTV zombie monster movies reviews TBS stand-up comedy joker Stephen King jamie lee curtis VOD comic books video OneApp Oscars Comedy Central universal monsters Apple TV Plus TV One Red Carpet Pop TV Disney+ Disney Plus social media halloween tv romantic comedy anime comic ABC Signature toy story History Nominations Sony Pictures Pet Sematary stoner Sundance RT History Country dogs See It Skip It werewolf foreign emmy awards based on movie 2015 Mary poppins worst rotten movies we love Infographic football 2018 doctor who worst movies Anna Paquin 72 Emmy Awards news directors Disney streaming service Dark Horse Comics black Binge Guide romance Emmys A24 TV 24 frames Cartoon Network cancelled GLAAD what to watch golden globes crime thriller FX Reality Competition Year in Review SundanceTV 45 TNT Film Festival ABC Academy Awards Western OWN Superheroes animated Marvel Studios TCA Awards screen actors guild Mudbound game show Cosplay Fox Searchlight Musical Logo elevated horror DC Comics justice league Funimation New York Comic Con VH1 Classic Film cancelled TV series Paramount Plus festival streaming hispanic Mary Poppins Returns Song of Ice and Fire 2019 rom-coms breaking bad Podcast biography DGA 71st Emmy Awards sports El Rey witnail E! concert Valentine's Day mockumentary Reality zombies Hallmark child's play Rom-Com Certified Fresh LGBT ITV criterion Lifetime Christmas movies RT21 2016 reboot travel boxoffice popular DC streaming service obituary blockbusters scorecard BET Awards discovery best hist Winners Disney Plus National Geographic CMT Endgame Starz movies unscripted diversity TV Land dc YouTube Red Masterpiece twilight ratings sag awards Turner dragons king kong chucky Musicals cars zero dark thirty Grammys movie The Academy Family Britbox Music rt archives Lionsgate telelvision CBS All Access spanish ghosts comiccon 2017 Calendar Character Guide kids crime drama christmas movies 20th Century Fox President canceled TV shows book facebook documentaries kaiju spain aliens Hallmark Christmas movies Sneak Peek MCU indie adaptation Premiere Dates Election Epix satire Opinion period drama renewed TV shows Mary Tyler Moore Set visit casting Ghostbusters indiana jones halloween FXX all-time Watching Series dramedy fresh Disney cooking Brie Larson Amazon Studios IFC Toys APB CNN GoT adventure toronto police drama documentary Black History Month Tumblr Black Mirror Lifetime anthology Creative Arts Emmys TruTV Comics on TV Paramount The Witch MSNBC screenings Walt Disney Pictures