Not that Funny really isn’t that funny. But it’s sweet, and sometimes painfully realistic: a remarkable trait for a rom-com.
Staring Tony Hale (your very favorite Buster Bluth from Arrested Development) as a lonely bachelor who won’t admit he’s lonely, NTF is about being at the right place helping the right old lady at the right time. It probably hasn’t happened to you, but I’d say it’s a plausible scenario for someone you’ve never met.
But this is why I love it: Most rom-coms leave people with a completely delusional understanding of love and how it’s expressed in a relationship; just exactly how an engagement and the planning of a wedding should happen; what the girl should be wearing and saying when she serendipitously meets “the one.”
I say this from the very bottom of my heart: Parents, those rom-coms you’re letting your preteens watch are FORMING the way they see and interpret the world of romantic relationships. Your children are learning how to love by watching Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. Blecch.
So, if you’re going to campaign about video games making teenagers violent, campaign about trashy rom-coms making your daughter a romantic nut job with horribly misplaced expectations—and your son a perfect ass because he wants no part in that (because OMG, who does?).
Anyway, NTF is mostly free of canned, mushy and unrealistic messages. It’s about a dude who does something kind of normal. He falls in love and says really dumb things around the lady of his affection because he thinks she wants to be with a man who can make her laugh. It’s possible he takes it a little further than normal by stalking a comedian for funny-tips. But weirder things have happened, right?
Then (SPOILER ALERT)—and I love this—dude gives up. Realizes he’ll never be funny but that maybe who HE REALLY IS might be good enough.
And, holy shit, the clouds part and it turns out being you is more important than being what you think someone else wants you to be.
I think that’s a message we can all feel good about, which means in my opinion it deserves five Heartland stars.