Director: Mikkel Nørgaard
Writers: Casper Christensen, Frank Hvam, Mikkel Norgaard
Is this racist? When I meet someone with a European accent, I automatically assume they’re smarter than me . If they’re female, I automatically find them more attractive – is that sexist? It’s a positive form of prejudice, but I think it still counts. Anyway, I’m glad “Klown” depicts dumb people doing dumb things in Europe. It helps dampen my bigotry.
“Klown” is a Danish comedy that follows a man named Frank (Frank Hvam) and his kidnapping of his girlfriend’s nephew to prove to her that he has fatherhood potential. See? That sentence just went against my stereotype. Frank had plans for a canoe trip with his hyper-sexual pal Casper (Casper Christensen) and he decides to bring Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen) at the last minute. He believes showing Bo a good time would provide a shining example in fatherhood. Casper is hesitant at first, but seeing that this means a lot to Frank, he accepts. Being fairly aware that this is a kidnapping, Casper and Frank know they have to make this trip the greatest time Bo has ever had.
On this canoe trip, Frank and Casper also plan to stop at a music festival, a bordello, and camp site that has a ridiculous amount of teenage girls. Frank’s intentions are to stay loyal to his girlfriend, but the only thought on Casper’s mind is “pussy.” While Caspter is hunting for sex and Frank stumbles around, Bo attempts to collect 228 bottle caps from a particular brand of liquor to win a model car. The whole experience is a roller coaster ride as things either go remarkably well or unbelievable bad.
“Klown” is one of the most awkwardly hilarious movies I’ve seen in recent memory. It’s a twisted brew of raunchy accidents, uncomfortable situations, and poor decision making. At one point, Casper and Frank have done so many stupid things that they actually believe they need some kind of leverage against Bo. Bo’s 12! I’m not sure if entrapment is going to work on a 12 year old. Frank’s heart is arguably in the right place, but he’s willing to do some terrible things to accomplish his goals.
Visually, “Klown” is exceedingly simple. It has that sparse, reality show feel that “Curb Your Enthusiasm” implements to make the absurd feel possible. It’s a style that bodes well for stumbling dialog and awkward pauses. Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam are a fantastic ying-and-yang combo reminiscent of a vulgar Abbott and Costello. Throw in a meek 12 year old with a small penis and you’ve got yourself 94 minutes of entertainment and disturbing thoughts.
“Klown” does suffer a bit when it comes to reasons for the group’s debacles. I have the same problem with “Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Frank and Casper are adamant on fulfilling terrible ideas with little rationale. With such a weak foundation, some of the scenarios feel like slaves to the punch line. Casper and Frank may not be the smartest men on the planet, but I would thing they would know that taking a picture of a 12-year-old’s penis wouldn’t end well.
Even with all the bad ideas, grounds for kidnapping and molestation, and vulgar situations, “Klown” is incredibly touching. The relationship between Frank, Bo, and Casper is heartfelt. The pendulum swings the other way, for even though Frank is willing to follow through with some terrible things, he’s always willing to physically and mentally tear himself apart to support the people around him. A guy in his underwear falling down is funny, but a guy holding innocent people at gun point to make a kid happy is hilariously charming.
RANDOM STUFF THAT DOESN’T MATTER:
- I had no idea this was originally a Danish TV show.
- I’m not sure what the Danish child labor laws are for showing penises.
- Scandinavian women seem to age very well, while Scandinavian men don’t.
- I’m being racist again.