Klown | Movie review
A raunchy Danish comedy can’t disguise its soft side.
The dirty secret of dirty comedy is that many of our most prolific purveyors of raunch are undercover sentimentalists. In the crude-but-cuddly spirit of the Farrelly brothers and Kevin Smith comes Klown, a gleefully vulgar import whose parade of obscenities—watch out for that preteen cock shot—can scarcely disguise its warm-and-fuzzy center. Spun off from a popular Danish sitcom and filmed like a Dogme 95 project, the movie recycles a time-honored comedic scenario: an innocent child put under the care of very bad role models. Out to prove to his pregnant girlfriend that he’s dad material, bespectacled dimwit Frank (Frank Hvam, hilariously deadpan) kidnaps her 12-year-old nephew (Marcuz Jess Petersen) and brings him along on a canoeing trip—despite the fact that said escapade has been conceived as a weekend odyssey of drugs and adultery. “Pussy beats fatherhood,” horndog travelmate Casper (Casper Lindholm Christensen) tells Frank, though it’s a sentiment the filmmakers clearly do not share.
The subsequent misadventures, which include an awkward threesome and an armed robbery, are certainly naughtier than what you might find in the American equivalent. (The outrageousness commences before the boys even set sail, with Frank accidentally ejaculating in the eye of his girlfriend’s elderly mother.) That said, anyone weaned on homegrown R-rated yukfests will recognize the way Klown undercuts its shock-comic tactics with sweetness. Also familiar: a healthy dose of gay panic, which you can be sure will become even healthier when Todd Phillips and Danny McBride unveil their in-the-works remake. (Available on VOD Fri 27; see drafthousefilms.com for details.)