Do a Shot: anytime anyone mentions The Bro Show
Take a Drink: for each celebrity cameo
Take a Drink: for each rant Bruce goes on
Do a Shot: for each cliche
By: Matt Conway (Three Beers) –
Adam Carolla is one of the more influential comedic talents working today, but in a very unorthodox way. The former stand-up has always been a funny guy, but has now re-engineered his career doing podcasts after being fired from his radio show. His podcast, called The Adam Carolla Podcast, has won the Best Podcast award several times, and has opened the door to a lot of other talents moving into podcasts.
Like most people nowadays interested in making movies, Carolla used crowd-funding to make this film. Unlike Kristin Bell and Zach Braff who used Kickstarter, Carolla used FundAnything, in which he successfully was able to raise one million dollars for his film. Some may be against crowd-funding, but I think its a great opportunity for people to make smaller, more personal films. While Road Hard certainly has its flaws, it’s a solid comedy featuring Adam Carolla’s great talents.
After the cancellation of his hit TV show and a messy divorce, former stand-up comedian Bruce Madsen gets back on the road, trying to find out what the future of his career holds.
Despite not acting in a lot of movies, Adam Carolla actually does a very good job in the titular role in the film. As Bruce, he is a very cynical, self-loathing character who in the wrong hands could be rather unlikable. Carolla, though, portrays the character with a very endearing quality, and it’s hard for the audience to not root for him to find his way in Hollywood.
Making Carolla’s Bruce work as a character is the script. Written by Carolla and Kevin Hench, the script here really gives audiences an insight into the feeling of loneliness and repetitious nature of being a stand up comedian, Bruce knows he is a funny guy, but also continues to get in his own way, unsure of what he wants with his career. You can’t help but think there is a semi-autobiographical nature to the character, with there being a real insight into the profession.
As one would expect from an Adam Carolla film, Road Hard is quite funny. A lot of the film’s biggest laughs come from Carolla just being himself, going on rants about smoking in a hotel room and a dog on a plane. There really is no one better when it comes to ranting, with these scenes featuring several tear downs that are quite funny. Carolla also has quite a few clever one-liners, and there are some nice laughs from the script.
The supporting cast here also does solid work. Diane Farr stars alongside Carolla as a potential love interest, and does a good job. She has good chemistry with Carolla, as the two bounce clever lines off each other with relative ease. Carolla also assembles a solid ensemble of celebrity friends who do solid work, including Jay Mohr, David Alan Grier, and David Koechner, who all have their own funny role in the film.
While Adam Carolla’s arc of finding himself as a comedian works, a lot of the side aspects do not work nearly as well. This is especially the case of the arc involving Carolla and his daughter, which is seldom touched on in the film. These moments are placed in there to try and build pathos, but due to the limited number of these scenes they don’t have the same effect.
The ending is very lackluster due to the rushed nature of the film’s third act. Road Hard is roughly 90 minutes long, and is enjoyable throughout that running time. However, the final third of the film feels incredibly rushed, running through several major scenes just to get to the inevitable conclusion. In the end, the film is wrapped up into too neat of a bow, that gives Road Hard a somewhat unrealistic feeling.
Road Hard’s biggest error comes in its cliched nature. Carolla and Hench’s script clearly focuses more on its titular character and making laughs than telling a quality story, with the story feeling like a barrage of cliches. For almost every aspect of the story you can predict how it ends and you will likely be correct, which is disappointing considering the film’s refreshingly honest portrayal of stand-up comedians.
While Road Hard suffers in the story department and is a bit rough around the edges, it’s a funny and insightful peek into the mind of a stand up comedian. Adam Carolla delivers a film that fans and non-fans alike will likely enjoy quite a bit.