DVD Of The Week
The most accurate criticsm of The Ten I've read is that it's a 13-year-old's take on Monty Python. I'd replace "13-year-old" with "post-SNL," but I can't think of a film since Holy Grail that so valued comedy over narrative, refusing to give us a single scene of laugh-free exposition or closure. Even Mr. Show, which mastered the form on TV, went with a stock character progression when they made Run, Ronnie, Run. Director David Wain's previous film, Wet Hot American Summer, while nearly as irreverent and successful, still followed a standard story arc in the tradition of Mel Brooks and Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker. The Ten is so unblinking and accurate in its mockery of cinematic cliche that it almost seems nihilistic. If you don't feel included in the humor (like the person who wrote "oh so when it suddenly gets unfunny I'm supposed to laugh at THAT?" on imdb), sitting through The Ten must feel like watching a high school Quiz Bowl team discover they can suck their own dicks. As a crude media nerd whose friendships frequently involve the recollection of Simpsons quotes, I think this is the best comedy of the decade.