Freddy Got Fingered

-

Freddy Got Fingered

Criticizing Freddy Got Fingered as distasteful kind of misses the point. Sure, it takes little effort to offer up a litany of moments that almost command audiences to avert their eyes from comedian and shock tactician Tom Green's big-screen starring/co-writing/directing debut. But what would a Tom Green movie be without shock value? Nothing, of course, and that's a big part of the problem. Green plays an aspiring animator who, at 28, still lives at home with his parents (Rip Torn and Julie Hagerty). After a brief stint in Hollywood working at a cheese-sandwich factory, Green moves back to Portland, where what he does doesn't really matter all that much. Green and co-writer Derek Harvie don't display any particular concern for story or other distractions, with the plot mostly serving to move Green between outrageous situations, most of which resemble segments from his television show when they don't borrow from it outright. On TV, however, he flung himself upon helpless, unaware civilians; here, Green doesn't seem to recognize that doing the same thing with actors in controlled environments kind of defuses the intended effect. If everyone is in on the gag, there's no gag to speak of. Perhaps in an attempt to compensate, Green tries to up the ante of what television allows, and while he has a pretty good sense of what shocks, he lacks all sense when it comes to matters of staging and timing. Bodily fluids abound, but they never wrap themselves around a genuinely funny moment. For all that, Freddy Got Fingered still displays an odd sort of integrity, as it's tough to see the film as anything other than the vision Green wanted to commit to screen. There's no evidence of groupthink, and nothing seems test-screened into blandness: Not when the film stops for Green to fondle the erect penis of a horse. Not when he canes the legs of his masochistic paraplegic girlfriend. Not when he swings a newborn around by its umbilical cord, spattering the walls with blood. Not when he licks his friend's open wound. And certainly not when Torn drops his trousers, spanks his own ass, and invites Green to fuck him. In Crimes And Misdemeanors, Alan Alda's character proposes, "If it bends, it's funny. If it breaks, it's not funny." If it writhes on the floor while coughing up vomit, what is it then?