A Funny Man | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 2011

The life of Dirch Passer, a baggy-pants comedian beloved by Danish audiences in the 50s and 60s, becomes grist for the mill of this slow-moving melodrama (2011). Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Brothers) works overtime as the manic star, and Lars Ranthe plays his antagonistic straight man, Kjeld Petersen. There are funny moments—in one swell sight gag the two men find a little couch in a backyard, turn it perpendicular to the ground, and manage to arrange themselves upon it in languorous poses—but their Martin-and-Lewis-style stage act is way over the top, greeted by gales of shrill laughter. After Passer goes solo, the movie devolves into a routine tale of showbiz ego and dissolution, centered on his drinking and womanizing, his crumbling marriage, and his funny-daddy romance with his little daughter. Martin Zandvliet directed. In Danish with subtitles.

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The euro might be shaky, but not the European Union Film Festival

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Director: Martin Zandvliet
Producer: Michael Ricks and Henrik Zein
Cast: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Julie Zangenberg, Lars Ranthe, Lars Brygmann, Laura Christensen, Morten Kirkskov, Martin Buch, Peter Reichhardt, Annika Aakjær and Silja Jensen

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