Watch A Futile and Stupid Gesture
- 1 hr 41 min
A Futile and Stupid Gesture, directed by David Wain, is a biographical comedy-drama movie that is based on the true story of the founder of the National Lampoon magazine, Doug Kenney. It was released in 2018. The movie is structured as a meta-story. In the beginning, we see a fictionalized version of Doug Kenney (played by Will Forte) talking to the audience about his personal life and struggles. He mentions that this movie is based on his life, but it is also a movie about making movies. This opening sets the tone for the entire movie. It is a self-aware, irreverent and satirical look at the life of Kenney and the culture of comedy in late 60s and early 70s America. The movie then follows Kenney's journey from his college days at Harvard where he met Henry Beard (played by Domhnall Gleeson) to the founding of National Lampoon magazine, which became a cultural phenomenon in the 70s. The magazine was groundbreaking in its humor, pushing boundaries and satirizing the counterculture movement of the time. Kenney's talent for writing and his unique sense of humor made him a comedy legend. However, his success came at a great personal cost. Doug Kenney was a complicated and flawed person. He struggled with addiction, depression and a constant need for approval. The movie does not shy away from his flaws, but it also celebrates his legacy. Kenney was a pioneering force in comedy and helped launch the careers of many famous comedians including Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Bill Murray. The movie pays homage to his significant contribution to comedy. The acting in this movie is excellent. Will Forte gives a nuanced and relatable performance as Doug Kenney. He manages to capture the humor and heartache of a man who was loved by many but couldn't find happiness himself. Domhnall Gleeson is also fantastic as Henry Beard, Kenney's business partner and best friend. His dry wit and sardonic humor provide an excellent contrast to Kenney's manic energy. The supporting cast is equally brilliant. Joel McHale plays Chevy Chase with uncanny accuracy. He perfectly captures the legendary comedian's arrogance and charm. The Gingerich twins, Frank and Morgan, also give standout performances as young Doug Kenney. They infuse their scenes with a childlike innocence that is both endearing and tragic. The movie's production design is superb. The costume design and set decoration perfectly capture the look and feel of the 60s and 70s. The movie is a vibrant and colorful look at a time when anything was possible in the world of comedy. Overall, A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a hilarious, poignant and thoughtful movie that tells the story of a comedy legend with a lot of heart. The movie is a tribute to Doug Kenney's life and his legacy. It is a must-watch for anyone who loves comedy or is interested in the history of American humor.