In order to convince his pregnant girlfriend (Mia Lyhne) that he is indeed “father material,” the goofy, gawky Frank (Frank Hvam) essentially kidnaps her 12-year-old nephew, Bo (Marcuz Jess Peterson), who’s staying with them while his parents are on vacation, and takes the pudgy, timid boy on a planned canoe trip. This comes to the voiced chagrin of Frank’s best friend, Casper (Casper Christensen), who was looking forward to said canoe trip as a “tour de pussy.”
To the comedy’s extreme credit, the very married Casper doesn’t let the child’s presence get in the way of his horny pursuit of young women. Thus begins an anything-goes journey — and sometimes chase — of high-class hookers, potent marijuana, an unwanted threesome, wholly inappropriate photography and a towering plate full of pancakes. Before the trip even begins, a masturbation accident is suffered, giving viewers a pretty good idea that Klown isn’t going to muck around: This is a seriously funny, seriously raunchy comedy that takes its politically incorrect status very seriously.
And yet, it’s very smart. Co-written by Hvam and Christensen, Klown will remind audiences of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s bent toward discomfort, taken to its absolute breaking point, and then a hair further. However, they and director Mikkel Nørgaard know you can’t get by on gross-outs and guffaws alone, so their film sports more heart than expected. Surprisingly, I almost cried ... and not just because I was laughing so loud.
Daring, dangerous, delinquent and debauched, Klown is the rare comedy I not only didn’t want to end, but wished I could have watched all over again, immediately. Two weeks later, it’s still making me smile, so I expect it to end up on my list of the 10 best films of 2012.
Based upon the same team’s 2005-2009 TV series of the same name, Klown arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from Drafthouse Films (The FP, Bullhead) with a wealth of extras. Best among them is a full episode of the show — written by controversial filmmaker Lars von Trier (Melancholia), of all people — in which Frank and Casper are disturbed to learn their significant others are taking a female masturbation course. —Rod Lott
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• Bullhead Blu-ray review
• Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season DVD review
• The FP Blu-ray review
• Melancholia film review