Tommy Fawkes wants to be a successful comedian but his Las Vegas debut is a failure. He goes back to Blackpool, UK, where his father, also a comedian started and where he spent the summers of his childhood. He starts to search for a partner, a comic relief, with whom he can be famous.
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This movie is a bizarre, brilliant look at the art of comedy and whatinfuses comedy material (sources can, of course, range from the tragicto the farcical) with Lee Evans quite magnificently portraying a quietcomic master, apparently traumatised by a dark incident in his past butable to slip everything up his sleeve for the sake of comedy.Oliver Platt stars as the untalented stand-up comic desperate to escapethe shadow of his father and to forge ahead in the world of comedy.Platt gets one of his best roles here, in a career chock full of greatroles. From his cringeworthy stand-up opening to his finalunderstanding of genuine laughter, his character goes on quite ajourney and while not always likable is always beside us as anappropriately bewildered outsider trying to get in.Add a small performance from Jerry Lewis (as the daddy with the largeshadow) that still manages to evoke memories of past comedy glories andyet also reminds us of past bravery in The King Of Comedy and thenthrow in some majorly impressive plate-balancing work, "Parrot Face",one of the finest audition sequences put to film and a wealth of otherquietly brilliant moments and you have a movie that few may have heardof but that some grow to love. As it should be.See this if you like: The King Of Comedy, Oliver Platt, Lee Evans.
The cast list for this film is as intriguing as the movie itself unitingtheU.S. with the U.K, music hall with stand up and the audience with some ofthe funniest people in the history of comedy.The film follows failed American comedian Oliver Platt searching forinspiration in Blackpool, England and his relationship with his father,Jerry Lewis, whose career began there as a child. It is also the story ofLee Evans, a performer with a troubled past and an eccentricfamily.There are plots and sub plots to maintain interest throughout this filmbutcomedy is the lynch pin.Mix Woody Allen with David Lynch and add a hint of Terry Gilliam to get afeel of the style of this film.The blackest of black comedy I loved it.
I agree that the marketing is completely wrong. Funny bones IS a funnyfilm (extremely funny), but it is a humour which has its routes firmlyset in the tragedy of life. George Carl's only speech in the film isdeliberately emphasised (His illustration that the tragedies whichbefall their family are the dark canvas against which the laughter andjoy become brighter is deliberately given poignancy by him being thesilent role up until then).This assertion is the very basis of the film. Comedy is rooted in thefear of tragedy. The film is about this tragic aspect of comedy. TommyFawkes is a privileged son living an extremely comfortable life yet isnot inherently funny despite all the money and effort thrown into hisact; his step brother (Lee Evans) has a life of almost unbearabletragedy and yet exudes comedy from every pore - he has Funny Bones.This film is beautifully set, acted and conceived. Everything from theastonishing ensemble performances, the exceptional script, the sublimechoice of music through to the totally bizarre (and yet perfect) choiceof cinematic angles all help portray the tragedy and comedy in theirnatural state; as two sides of one whole.Brilliant film.. terribly terribly marketed.
This is an amazing movie, a comedy story about comedy. It's hilariousthroughout but not only that its a brilliant story on families. Themovie is just a masterpiece, well written and well directed. A movieyou would watch time and time again and still laugh at each joke. FunnyBones shows a brilliant portrayal of comedy in the seaside resort ofBlackpool. Many acts have came and went through Blackpool, all beinghugely famous in their time. The movie shows how you can be the biggeststars in the city one moment then it can all be gone in an instant.This movie shows a real side the Blackpool. And it shows it in abrilliant way, filmed all on set, the real Blackpool beach, the realtown, the real amusement park. Everything including a lot of the extraswere totally part of Blackpool. This is a brilliant British movie witha brilliant British cast. It has comedy throughout, it ranges from offthe wall zany crazy comedy, all the way to subtle verbal comedy. Abrilliant mix of visual and verbal comedy throughout this movie. Abrilliant story about rediscovering who you are, a movie which showsyou the past isn't always as happy or as sad as you believe it to be.This movie has it all. If you're British you'll adore it, if you're notBritish you'll love it just the same. A brilliant cast in this movie,comedy for everyone no matter who the person. Truly this movie doesn'tget the due respect it deserves. This movie will always be a hugeelement in my DVD collection and after seeing it, you will feel thesame way.This movie will lighten up your life, its a true masterpiece. Irecommend you see it in whatever way you can.
Funny Bones is not a traditional comedy. It starts off being deliberatelyunamusing, yet it later becomes evident that this was done not only toestablish reason for the events that occur during the rest of the movie,butalso to create good character development. Oliver Platt proves that he isnot only a great comedic actor, but he can be just as good when he istryingNOT to be funny. His on-stage scenes early in the film were not onlywell-lit but also wonderfully acted and photographed. Jerry Lewis alsoperforms a surprisingly convincing role in a startling turn from sheercomedic hilarity to a seriously dramatic role as Platt's legendarycomedianfather.Platt plays Tommy Fawkes, a struggling stand-up comedian trying to live upto the legacy that his famous father George Fawkes (Jerry Lewis) hascreated. George is now retired, and Tommy is struggling to get his careerstarted. After yet another painful failure onstage, Tommy decides totravelback to Blackpool, England, where his family's comedy originated. Thepeoplethat Tommy meets there are strangely fascinating, and Lee Evans delivers aparticularly interesting performance as Jack Parker, the high energycomedian who is on the run from the law and is also George Fawkes' bastardson. His one full length comedy act is absolutely amazing to watch.As Tommy is holding auditions trying to find something funny to include inhis own act back in the States, he learns more and more about the peopleliving in Blackpool and about their history as well as some dishonorableactions of his own father, and he learns an important lesson from it all.Heultimately finds his place in the world of live acting, and thetransformation from who he was at the beginning of the film to who he isatthe end is incredible.Funny Bones is an excellent but very different comedy that is ultimatelyvery rewarding and satisfying. The cinematic trickery and the skillful useof lighting add to the experience, and the acting is excellent all around.The circus scene at the end of the film was great, it was tense andamazingly well done. Although slow at times, this is a great film aboutovercoming obstacles and developing your own view of the world, as well asthe importance of finding your rightful place in it.
When I first saw this film I thought that it was brilliant. At first itseemed to have an amateurish quality about it, but this turned out not tobetrue. What I thought was amateurish about it turned out to be the sound.The ever present ocean seems to add to the sound quality as if the viewerwere really there, experiencing what actually happened.This is undoubtedly one of Oliver Platt's best roles. I thoroughly enjoyedwatching the intriguing Mr.Fawkes. Lee Evans was also unbelievablyrivetingin his portrayal as the mentally disturbed young man.This film is very representative of the small town in Britain with it'squiet undisturbed population that seems to be frozen in time, in contrasttoFawkes's father's life in America, which is busy and ever-changing, wherethe most important thing in life is money, as opposed to memories beingjustas important back in the small British town.The best part of the film is watching (in small parts) the unravelling ofthe horrific event that had happened so many years before and turned theyoung man (played by Lee Evans) into the person he is today.A riveting watch. See it.
This very dark movie features a host of exceptional performances, mostnotably Lee Evans, but George Carl and Freddie Davies steal it forme.For anyone with knowledge of this world, it is both comfortable anddiscomfiting, and gives a very acute feel of the business behind the show,with the obvious codicil that the demands of drama for a popular audiencerequire more of an emphasis on the extreme elements of any story to holdtheinterest. That said, there is pathos, no bathos, wit in abundance in theinformed and sensitive writing, a close-up style of cinematography whichdraws you in to the performances, an exceptional understanding of thematerial from the cast who were clearly picked with that in mind (Evansfather is Dave Evans, a stand-up club comic who played the circuit, as Leehimself did), Carl and Davies, and finally, of course, Jerry Lewis inanother fine serious role, if reminiscent of his performance in the King ofComedy.Now...Oliver Platt. My only slight criticism. He simply couldn't hold itquite together in this company given the material, but I don't think that'shis fault, and his performance is still excellent, although a slight misfitin this context.All in all, an outstanding film.
In my quest to see as many Leslie Caron films as I can, FUNNY BONES came myway, via a free rental from my county library. The title comes from a talkby dad (Jerry Lewis) who says, "some people are just born funny, it is intheir bones. I hate to tell you this, son (Oliver Platt), you are not funnyand you never will be." Leslie Caron plays the mother of a really funny Britwho is also a bit off kilter, not too different from most Brits anyway.Platt's character goes back to his birthplace, Blackpool, to get inspirationafter he bombs in his Las Vegas debut as a standup comic.some SPOILERS are contained in the following...The off-kilter son is actually Platt's half-brother, a love-child from the1960s between the Caron and Lewis characters. He does have funny bones, buthad gone a bit crazy some years earlier and killed a fellow clown during aperformance by beating him on the head with an iron bar inside a rolled upnewspaper. The movie ends with the two half brothers swinging from a highpole in front of an audience, Platt hanging in the grasp of his halfbrother, who says, "Listen, they are beginning to like you." Frame freezes,it is left to our imagination whether they went on to perform together, orif Platt fell and died, a death he predicted two weeks earlier in LasVegas.A bit of a strange movie, I don't rate it real high, but after the openingscenes were out of the way, and the story settled in England, it kept myattention every minute thereafter. I like well-done quirky films, and thisis one of those. Plus, it is great seeing Leslie Caron at about the age of 64, lookingbeautiful and playing her role perfectly, which even included a brief dancein a bare belly costume. The consumate actress, now in her 6th decade offilm-making.
After reading most of the comments on this film, I feel relieved. WhenI saw it the first time in cinema, I really liked it, so I persuadedsome friends o see it too. They were disappointed. All others I talkedto about this film were not liking it too. I thought I may be the onlyone to find it a brilliant, deep movie but here I find more of my kind.What makes the movie so outstanding in my opinion, is the fact that itis none of Hollywood's favourite genres...in fact it can't even becategorized to one genre or two. Adding to it there is no smallcriticism about today's comedy and entertainment culture and how ourmodern society treats people not fitting in so well.All this is wrapped in a more than bizarre story about some mysticelixir hidden in wax eggs,french mariners, American comedians, familysecrets, a long lost glamorous time of vaudevillian entertainment andtwo guys on the search of their role in life.One is Tommy Fawkes (Oliver Platt) the rising star of stand up comedy,son of a comedy great. Overcome with self doubt and after getting hisspotlight stolen by his father, he begins looking for the heart ofcomedy in Blackpool, England. Many may not know this, but Blackpool,like Brighton, was once the center of cabaret and varietÃ© culture inEngland. Platt delivers a great performance (I should say as often,because that he does) as the self-doubting comedian, who thinks hecannot be funny anymore.But what he lacks in comedian talent, he has insocial talent. He is a natural leader and charismatic person.Then there is Jack, a guy who is born to a family of entertainers, too.He is a natural comedian, in such an extreme that he cannot interactwith society on a normal level. He has somewhat of a dark past, butthat gets apparent during the movie. Jack is played by Lee Evans, andthis boy is FABULOUS! Look at his Radioman performance and tell me youdid not laugh...i call you a liar.Both actors are surrounded by a more than strong supporting castincluding Jerry Lewis, Leslie Caron and Oliver Reed.Together with its almost hauntingly sublime and beautifulcinematography this film becomes a very clever and deep movie aboutcharacter development.My advice: Rent it, see it and make your own opinion. You may bedisappointed, since this is not a movie for everyone. But if you likeit, you will appreciate it the more.
Despite the film being titled "Funny Bones" and having Jerry Lewis inthe cast, this really isn't a comedy. Yes, I noticed that the picturecurrently shown for this film on IMDb says "A zany look at twocomedians who will do anything for a laugh"--but this really is a lotof hyperbole. This isn't a knock against the film--just a knock at howit was marketed. I think you should be prepared for the type of filmyou are about to see."Funny Bones" begins with some sort of deal going bad on the water offof Blackpool, England. One man is chopped up by the blades of a boatand another is forced to jump into the water to save himself. Whatexactly happened and why is a complete mystery and bits and pieces ofthis are interspersed throughout the film.The film then very abruptly changes to Las Vegas. A terribly unfunnyman, Tommy Fawkes (Oliver Platt), is about to make his big debut at oneof the big clubs. Not surprisingly, he bombs--and folks start walkingout during his act. Now this happens from time to time...but what makesit different is that the guy is the son of a legendary comedian, GeorgeFawkes (Jerry Lewis). It's obviously difficult living in your father'sshadow--especially when you aren't talented. Soon Tommy disappears--andends up in Blackpool to see if he can buy an act for himself. Now heknows he is terrible at telling jokes--so he wants to see if he canlearn physical comedy. During this process, he accidentally bumps intosome folks who have a dark connection to his dad--and learns severalterrible secrets about his old man. I could say a lot more, but itwould spoil the film.In addition to the main plot discussed above, the plot begun at thestart of the film seemed a bit dark, confusing and unnecessary--and notespecially well integrated into the rest of the movie. It seemed tohave VERY little to do with the Fawkes story and was choppy and seemedto get in the way of the main story--which was very compelling as Ifound myself wanting to see more interaction between Platt and Lewis. Ialso enjoyed was seeing some of the strange burlesque-style acts. Somewere very funny and some were just cool. This was a nice little homageto the English acts which used to be big in Blackpool. But, the darkand violent elements of the story just seemed to get in the way andmuddle the picture. Good but it could have been a lot better.
This is one of the best comedies I've seen so far, but I onlydiscovered that when I saw it for the second time. Isn't that strange?There are hilarious moments (the Lee Evans-fly in the mouth-gag, theFrench storyline with the feet) but there's a lot of drama too. Some ofthe vaudeville-like acts are wonderful, funny and amazing! The story isrich in detail and humanity. I thought the last few minutes of themovie were full of suspense! I was shocked to find out I probably sawthe shorter version of the film; I hope a DVD comes out with theoriginal (?) version of the movie. The DVD-packaging (regio 2)is awful,by the way; who thought up the 'Zany'-bit?
Quite wonderful, really! Having first enjoyed the film and treasured itsbrave mix of elements, themes and cinematic styles, I checked the "ExternalReviews" section, only to find out that most critics (well, American ones,anyway) had found the film: a. confusing, or b. even more confusing. Makesyou wonder why these guys end up as film critics. If something that'ssimultaneously this entertaining and challenging makes them yawn - well,someone here must have misunderstood the point of filmmaking altogether. Notthat this is necessarily a flawless film, but I can't but admire Chelsom'sstrength of vision and courage in executing it. To me, this is one of thevery few examples of magical realism in the movies that reallyworks!
First the bad news. This supposed black comedy is totally devoid ofblack comedy, and any other kind of humor for that matter. What you getare two separate converging stories neither of which is remotely funny.Jumping back and forth, the viewer is totally bored and confused, not agood formula for entertainment. Trucking out endless vaudeville actsmay be entertaining to an extremely tiny minority, but to everyone else"Funny Bones" will be unending torture. After one hour of this totalnonsense, I most fortunately consulted the DVD case, which informed methat it was 128 minutes long. I had had enough. Now the good news, Iejected this artsy crap, and didn't waste another minute. - MERK
Just what everyone else says here. For some inexplicable reasonthe professional reviewers didn't get it or didn't like it. Gofigger.It's just plain brilliant--black comedy with an incrediblycomplex weave of themes, threads, and allusions. Spectacularphysical comedy, great script, wonderful acting (even by JerryLewis, who plays a straight role--an aging himself).First time I saw it I ended the movie with slack jaw, inamazement. Saw it again a week later. Seen it twice since.One of those movies that's sort of bottomless. You get morejokes, and laugh harder, every time you see it.
This film is a very underrated gem - it cant be put into a nice little boxlike Hollywood always wants to do with projects. "This is a wacky comedy""This is a dark family drama", etc. You could tell they did not know how tomarket the film when it first came out in the US. They made it look like awacky farce which it is not. This film works as a dark comedy about talent,those that have it and those that dont and yes, Jerry lewis gives a strongperformance (right up there with King Of Comedy)and Lee Evans is a marvel asa talented comedian and Oliver Platt gives one ofhis best performances as anuntalented offspring of a legend. Worth seeing - just dont expect slapstick,expect three-dimensional flawed people trying to make peace with one anotherand get through their torn lives.
Oliver Pratt is Tommy Lewis in this tale of a child of a successfulcomedian, who after bombing in Vegas jets off to Blackpool, England to findthe funny. He finds his half-brother, Jack Parker, while still unfunny, hasinherited their father Jerry Lewis's genes (Ie. funny to the French). Thefather follows Tommy over, to make ammends for stealing the act he startedwith, but won't let poor Jack have the spotlight as well for the pettylittle reason that Jack is a murdering son-of-a-bitch. Silly Jerry. Wellafter kidnaping the policeman who is watching him, Jack gets to do hisunfunny act. And apparently, the inhabitants of Blackpool are all French andlove his shenenigans. Cheering because he doesn't kill Oliver in theprocess.. YAY!!! My Grade: D+
Here is one more somewhat-unknown film I wish got more notice, althoughI'm not sure how many would like it because it's so different. It's abizarre combination of humor and tragedy, of supernatural and straightdrama. It's just an odd mix, but I find it very, very interesting andI've seen it three times, equally fascinated each time.The movie goes back and forth between drama and comedy which makesunsettling for some viewers, but not me. It kept me on my toes, so tospeak, even with those multiple viewings. Also in here is anotherexample of how good comedians can be in dramatic roles, in this case,veteran comic Jerry Lewis. Oliver Platt plays his son, and does anoutstanding job as the main figure in this film. The comedy is reallyprovided by others, most notably the most tragic figure in the film:"Jack Parker," effectively played by Lee Evans.There is really is no way to adequately explain this strange film in afew paragraphs. I would just say if you are looking for somethingdifferent, give this a try. And stay with it, even if the first halfhour is not to your liking. You will be rewarded.
This film chronicles the odyssey of an unhappy man, Tommy Fawkes (OliverPlatt), son of world famous comic George Fawkes (Jerry Lewis). Tommyfleeshis miserable failure of a life and winds up in Blackpool, England whereheadvertises his scheme to view and potentially buy comic ideas from oldBritish music hall acts. Inadvertently, he winds up discovering hisunknownhalf brother (Lee Evans) and his two "fathers" the Parker Brothers. Theaudience is privileged to view the comic genius of these three gentlemen.Of course the plot involves Tommy's search for his purpose in life, andsubplots explore the lives of the British and French characters strugglingto get by while others seem to have it so easy. Ultimately, these serveasa matrix upon which to hang the brilliant comedy of the real principalsaforementioned. The film is a treat and deserves much more attention thanit has ever gotten.
Not having seen this film, or even remembering if it ever playedlocally, it was with amazement we stumbled into this brilliant comedydirected by Peter Chelsom. The screen play is by Mr. Chelsom and PeterFannery.The opening scenes are disorienting because we aren't prepared for whatwill follow in any way, but in retrospect, it makes sense because itties in with the story in ways that a casual viewer might overlook.The biggest thing going for this film is the wonderful Lee Evans whogives a performance bigger than life and ends up stealing the film andmaking it his own. This young actor deserves to be seen in other filmsbecause he shows a charisma and a talent unmatched by other, moreexperienced actors.The other surprise was Jerry Lewis. Not being a fan of Mr. Lewis, hegives a retrained performance, much better than in some of hiscomedies. Leslie Caron is also excellent, although she is not seen butin a few pivotal scenes. Her Cleopatra dance shows her in greatphysical form. Oliver Platt, as Tommy, wins our sympathy because hebombs as a comedian in front of a Las Vegas audience.The real stars of the film are George Carl and Freddie Davies, genuinecomedians, doing what they do best. Their routines show us a team ofthe most talented people in the business.Blackpool, the English seaside resort comes alive as it shows why it'sthe mecca for popular entertainment.
Along with Mel Brooks's "The Producers" this is probably one of the mostunderrated films of all time. It's funny, sentimental, sad, genuinelytouching and original. This film has it all. Best of all it's set inBlackpool.