Clear History (2013)

clearhistoryposterBy: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Larry David had already cemented his role as a comedy legend by the time his baby Seinfeld went off the air.  Instead of resting on those laurels, though, or continuing to write material for other people, he got in front of the camera for the great Curb Your Enthusiasm.  That show’s been off the air since 2011, however, although it hasn’t been officially canceled, and HBO definitely wants it back, which is always a good sign.

eastbound and down

HBO don’t give no shit ’bout your “final season”.  You’re done when HBO says you’re done.

So, what’s Mr. David been up to in the interim? Clear History.

Here Larry David plays “Not Larry David”, who actually is pretty much just Larry David, a man who throws away an electric car fortune in typical Larry David fortune- due to outspokenness, complete lack of tact, and a comical inability to compromise.  Years later, the man (besides himself) who cost him that fortune (Jon Hamm) moves in next door on Martha’s Vineyard, where Not Larry David’s been living the blue collar lifestyle.  Can he get his revenge without shooting himself in the foot once again?

A Toast

David really only traffics in one kind of comedy, but it’s a delicious mix of social commentary, dark humor, slapstick, and pure cantankerousness that is truly all his own.  This is very much a Larry David joint, and I love the film all the more for it.  Honestly, Clear History is another Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.  The set up, the payoff, the music, and even J.B. Smoove’s always welcome ridiculousness are all present.

j_b_smoove

If he wasn’t D.J. Smoove Move at some point in his career, he’s led a wasted life

This flick ups the ante, though, with slicker direction courtesy of Superbad‘s Greg Mottola and an ace cast also including Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Amy Ryan, Eva Mendes, Kate Hudson, and Philip Baker Hall, all of which certainly get their moments.  Also, I have to applaud what may be the most deliciously dark twist of Larry David’s career, which flips the movie on its head and ups the comedy of errors ante spectacularly.

Beer Two

If you find Curb or Larry David insufferable, it goes without saying that this won’t be up your alley.  Honestly, there’s not really anything here but Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, and it wouldn’t rank in the top tier of those.

Beer Three

The big reason for that is that the film drags a bit in parts.  It has the run time of 3+ episodes, but filled with only 1.5 episodes or so worth of material.

Verdict

3beers

If you’re a Curb fan looking for your fix, here it is.  If not, this is a great introduction to the comedic pleasures of Mr. Larry David.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every recognizable comedy face

Take a Drink: every time Larry David expresses an opinion strongly

Take a Drink: each time you hear “the Howard”

Do a Shot: when Larry learns a lesson

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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