Written by Harold Ramis

Directed by Harold Ramis

 Michael Cera, Jack Black


Year One



Harold Ramis has written and directed some wonderful comedies: “Caddyshackand  Groundhog Day” come to mind, but ever since he’s gotten entangled with Jud Apatow his work has come down – way down – down to where there’s no wit left..  “Year One” is a pastiche of stupid manly jokes, something like “Dumb and Dumber” only with a complete sexist tilt to them.  Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) are two cavemen in, what else, the Year One.  Because of Black’s obscene behavior they are kicked out of the tribe, to make their way into other tribes and other embarrassments.  At this point I need to say that the woman down the row from me at the screening laughed and laughed at every penis joke, and when it came to some caveman’s foreskin I thought she’d go crazy.  If that’s funny to you, let me recommend this film.


In the words of our late president Nixon, I Am Not Without a Sense of Humor, but I have to say that “Year One” is one of the most dismal comedies I’ve ever seen.  In fact, if you should stay until the closing credits, you’ll see the outtakes that are at least a bit funnier than the film itself.  In the course of the duo’s wandering, they come to Sodom and Gomorrah, and not since the Bible have those two cities been less funny.  With a whole shelf-full of Borscht-Belt jokes, the two men miss every opportunity to be witty.  I unfortunately forgot my notebook and so I’m unable to recollect even one attempt at humor, but that’s how it goes.


Michael Cera is presented first as an effeminate little virgin of a boy, and Jack Black is at his filmic worst, mugging and shouting at everyone else on screen.  Naturally, Cera’s worm turns and he finally gets rid of his virginity, but it isn’t even funny.  This is a film made up of gags, none of which work.  In a year of bad comedies, “Year One” has to be the worst.