DAVID reviews

31 March 2017

Danny Brown: Ain't It Funny

by Andrew MacGregor


Danny Brown: “Ain't It Funny” - 3 mins 37s

Something tells us network executives will pass on Danny Brown and director Jonah Hill’s ‘Ain’t It Funny’. For the rest of us, however, it’s a dark and twisted spin on American sitcoms. Be warned - 'Happy Days' this is not.

Subtitles reveal Brown’s inner turmoil while the studio audience guffaws. His young 'nephew' - all sweetness and devil eyes - keeps him locked in his primetime suffering with the catchphrase: “Oh, Uncle Danny!” Only cognac and Xanax can drown out the laughing track.

Keeping pace with Brown’s breakneck delivery is no mean feat, but the lyrics blend sardonic barbs - “The rocks bout the size/As the teeth in Chris Rock's mouth” - and raw observations on addiction.

The bloodshed on display here suggests Jonah Hill took copious notes from Scorsese on the 'Wolf of Wall Street' set, and this first work for Smuggler is a terrifically disconcerting combo of carnage plus old-school screen wipes and graphics.

It's aptly cast, too. US sitcom buffs will also recognise Joanna Kerns from 'Growing Pains', which adds to the authenticity. Plus who hasn’t wanted to see respected director Gus van Sant in a dad cardigan?


Film Production: Smuggler
Director: Jonah Hill
Producer: Brian Quinlan / Alison Goodwin / Mikey Alfred
Executive Producer: Drew Santarsiero
Cinematography: Christopher Blauvelt
Production Design: Jace Ford
Wardrobe: Derek Lee
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