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No Sin in The Ten

Published August 2, 2007 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
The Ten Poster The Ten
The Ten may be the funniest movie of the year. Hot Fuzz is still my favorite but that was brilliant and exciting in addition to hilarious. Knocked Up was really funny but this has to be the most delightfully bizarre comedy since Dodgeball.

Movie Review: The Ten


There are ten comedy shorts, each one based on one of the 10 commandments. Paul Rudd hosts a wraparound segment that has a comedic drama of its own. But these are not just a story about a thief, a story about an affair, a story about a killer. We're talking about skydiving accidents, a Mexican Jesus Christ, obsessions with CAT Scan machines and more zaniness.

It's so earnest, they follow the most ridiculous threads to the logical extreme. All of the characters are completely committed to the reality of the film. Even the "control group" of straight men contribute to the comedy, like the angry judge. It's just enough to complete the illusion of insanity.

The humor can be completely random, with celebrity references both obscure and mainstream. A poop joke can come at an emotional moment, but not so regularly that it becomes a scatological comedy. It's just in that moment they went there. In another moment, they can be sweet and romantic at the most inappropriate time.



The stories are all interconnected like the most pretentious anthology movies. Characters even set up their next appearance with such out of place non sequitur that it's even juicier when it pays off.

Even the iffiest segment pays off with running gags in subsequent episodes. But they're all brilliant so an iffy bit by this movie's standards is still laugh out loud funny.

They even spoof their own format. The key word from the commandment appears at the beginning of each story, until they eventually need to manipulate a prop to make the word "covet" appear. Finally they just create obvious fakes.

Of course, this is all a lot of analysis of why this thing just cracked me the f*** up. I don't remember ever laughing this hard in an empty screening room before. I'm sure I have, but I can't recall. Would I be lame if I called it a religiously funny experience? I don't care, I'm saying it.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of respective holders.
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