Skip Nav
The 54 New Movies You Need to Watch on Netflix in September
The 1 Thing About Titanic That Has Bothered Me For Almost 20 Years
27 Quotes From Supernatural's Crowley That You'll Definitely Need in Your 20s

The Ten: Absurd, But Not Absurdly Funny

I think Paul Rudd is cute and funny. I think the concept of making a movie using ten vaguely intersecting comedic skits is potentially great and funny. So why, then, is The Ten just not that funny?

The movie has Paul Rudd playing Jeff, a kind of surreal host on a sparsely furnished "stage," of sorts, introducing each of the film's stories based on the Ten Commandments. Between each segment we get an update on the travails of Jeff's love life (the end of his rocky marriage, followed by his relationship with the bouncy young Liz (Jessica Alba), etc.). The stories themselves are moderately interesting. For the commandment about stealing we do indeed find Winona Ryder playing a young woman who steals a ventriloquist dummy with whom she's fallen in love. The piece featuring Adam Brody (based on the commandment about worshiping false gods) is a pretty funny commentary on the phenomena of American celebrity. Ten stories starts to feel like an awful lot, however, and when the mildly amusing musical finale comes, it arrives in the form of silly relief. For more on my perplexed "eh" reaction to this movie,

Writer/director David Wain and a bunch of his buddies from "The State" (many of whom make up the cast of "Reno: 911" as well as the movie Wet Hot American Summer) came up with this movie and roped in some big-time names (Alba, Brody, Ryder) to join them for the ride. I've always liked and respected "The State" because they did comedy the way they wanted to do comedy: strangely, and full of darkness and absurdity. Their skits were often awkward to watch — sometimes so awkward they weren't funny — but it always struck me that they did things on their own terms, as opposed to, say, "Saturday Night Live" — which can be called a lot of things but "edgy" or "weird-funny" are not among those things.

Yet watching The Ten I started to wonder if "The State" served a purpose during a time in my life that has since passed. In fact, in a recent interview with David Wain, he says he wanted the movie to be exactly the kind of movie he liked to watch as a college kid and alas, I am no college kid.

The Ten seems like one long inside joke that I am not a part of. It's not that I didn't understand the humor, it's that I got why it should be funny and it just wasn't. And like I found with "The State" from time to time, the absurdity often overwhelms everything else so you're stuck there sitting in awkward or stupefied silence rather than laughing out loud hilariously. If this is okay with you, and if you are also a fan of "The State," "Reno" or Wet Hot American Summer, then you'll probably kinda enjoy the movie like I did. Otherwise, don't bother because I shalt not lie: it will probably be an exercise in frustration.

Join The Conversation
yyam084 yyam084 10 years
yeah whatever,still going to see this bec. of adam brody!!!!
bsutphin bsutphin 10 years
I really enjoyed this movie, in fact i laughed out loud at parts. I was a huge fan or Wet Hot American Summer, so I'm not sure if I just like this humor more, or what. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, in fact I'm not even going to recommend it to my husband. I'm 27, far from a college student and I still found this movie extremely funny.
Mejia Mejia 10 years
I am definitly going to watch this. :)
daffodil_10 daffodil_10 10 years
i dont think i wanna watch that
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
thats too bad. looks like it'll be okay for free maybe?!
gigglesss gigglesss 10 years
i didn't come out to any theaters near me =[..and i wanted to see this lol
charliegirl charliegirl 10 years
Saw it this weekend and laughed harder than I have in a while.
Intern Intern 10 years
This movie was so promising! Only a stroke of sheer bad luck could have ruined this perfect set up! Well at least it didn't completely bomb; I'll still see it.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
I heard Paul Rudd's interview on NPR and decided then that movie sounded pretty "meh."
pinkflats pinkflats 10 years
I also heard that this movie was okay but not very funny. I was watching Ebert & Roeper last night when they reviewed this movie. Roeper and the guest host split on it. Roper gave it thumbs up but the guest host didn't. I did like the comment the guest host made that the first skit was the best because most of the actors used were not comedic actors, meaning they didn't try to push the envelop to be funny. their subtle/non-comedic chops made the skit actually humorous. I always find it interesting how a dramatic actor can be funnier than a seasoned comedic actor.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
Oh, I am SO sorry to hear this because I was really looking forward to this movie. I loved "The State" and "Wet Hot" is one of my favorite movies EVER. I was really disappointed by "The Baxter," though, which is Wain's last movie before this (I think).
Jessica Alba Bikini Pictures
Jessica Alba's Family Photo July 2017
Adam Brody Leighton Meester at StartUp Premiere August 2016
Jessica Alba's Dog Bowie Dies
From Our Partners
Latest Entertainment
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds