Sure, I love Oscar-winning dramas like “Twelve Years a Slave” and my comedic preferences lean more often toward the subtle, dark humor of British comedies, but every now and then I have to have a dose of silly, laugh-to-the-point-crying potty humor. And this week, I got a hit of that exact brand of comedy when my husband brought home “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”
About the Movie
Seth MacFarlane plays Albert, a sheep farmer in the American West in 1882. He hates the West where “everything is trying to kill you.” He’s just been dumped by his girlfriend who would rather date Foy, the owner of the town moustachery shop, than a sheep farmer whose sheep end up in weird places like rooftops. Anna (Charlize Theron), wife of the meanest outlaw in the area comes to town. When Foy challenges Albert to a gunfight, Anna teaches Albert (who owns a gun but has never fired it) how to shoot. Through their time together, they become close friends…which turns out to be a bit of an issue when her husband rolls into town.
Yes, the overall story line is completely predictable, but the humor is unexpectedly hilarious.
Those who are easily offended will of course steer clear of anything by Seth MacFarlane. “A Million Ways to Die in the West” has plenty of cursing, there’s oodles of sex jokes and innuendos, there’s a smattering of drug use, there’s even some gross-you-out humor. When we popped in the DVD, I honestly wasn’t expecting much, maybe a few chuckles or a few groaning giggles at a bad joke. I was happily disappointed in my expectations and was laughing out loud through much of the movie.
Adding to the funny bits and inclusion of terrific actors like Sarah Silverman, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Wes Studi and a wink-wink cameo of Christopher Lloyd, is MacFarlane’s wonderful (perhaps obsessive) attention to detail with props and costume design. The scenery is gorgeous and, as is required of Seth’s work, the music score is superb.
I know many people won’t agree with my opinion of this movie, most will find it offensive and low brow, but sometimes that’s exactly the kind of humor you need. Overall, this movie isn’t going to please everyone, but it’s a fun flick with fast-paced humor that’s a delight to watch.
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.