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New for July 5, 2011
Osmosis Jones (2001), directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly, with Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce, Brandy Norwood, William Shatner, Kid Rock, Ron Howard, Bill Murray, Molly Shannon and Chris Elliot – I’m thinking that maybe now is a good time to revisit Osmosis Jones. I’m thinking that it never got a fair shake when it came out in August of 2001. Is it a kids movie or is it for adults? Is it a cartoon or is it not a cartoon? (The answer: both and both.)
I remember there was a time when I really looked forward to a new Farrelly Brothers movie. I can’t remember laughing as loudly in a movie theater since the first time I saw There’s Something About Mary in the summer of 1998. Throw 1994’s Dumb and Dumber into the mix and 1997’s Kingpin, and you have a pair of young directors whose movies I generally anticipated. But 2000’s Me, Myself and Irene was forgettable, despite re-teaming the Bobby and Peter with Dumb and Dumber co-star Jim Carrey. Osmosis Jones came out the same year as Shallow Hal. By this point, I just assumed the boys had run out of tricks. I must have not been the only one, because the films that followed — 2003’s Stuck on You, 2005’s Fever Pitch, 2007’s The Heartbreak Kid and 2011’s Hall Pass — died at the theaters. I can’t understand why anyone would think their next project, a Three Stooges movie, is a good idea.
But I’m older now. I’d like to think I’m wiser. I know that, just because a movie bombs at the box office, doesn’t mean it’s no good.
So maybe it’s time to give a second chance to Osmosis Jones, a movie about anthropomorphic micro-organisms living inside the body of a zookeeper played by Billy Murray, with Chris Rock as the voice of Osmosis Jones, a white blood cell that teams up with a cold pill, voiced by David Hyde Pierce and … wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE … this sounds terrible!
It turns out that the Farrelly Brothers had nothing to do with the animated portions of Osmosis Jones, only directing the live-action parts. Furthermore, it was the live action parts that critics panned, while the cartoon segments received some praise, although most found the humor juvenile and predictably scatological. The script was written by Marc Hyman, whose two other screenplays included The Perfect Score, a 2004 Breakfast Club rip-off and Meet the Fockersi, the sequel to Meet the Parents — also released in 2004.
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