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How ‘Unhealthy Journey’ Introduced Again the Gross-Out Comedy

 

The roots of the fashionable gross-out comedy might be traced to EC Comics and Mad Journal, giddily demented publications devoured by children in the midst of the final century, a few of whom went on to create films like “Animal Home” and “American Pie.” This led to an arms race of vulgarity with more and more rote bursts of taboo-busting together with hilarious landmarks: the contagious vomiting in “Stand By Me,” the hair gel in “There’s One thing About Mary,” and the wildly influential “Jackass” franchise. (One in every of its creators, Jeff Tremaine, is a producer of “Unhealthy Journey.”)

“Unhealthy Journey” is firmly on this custom, however up to date for an period wherein actuality and fiction more and more blur. It’s no shock that Nathan Fielder and Sacha Baron Cohen, who’ve used the instruments of documentary options to increase the palette of comedy, helped seek the advice of. “Unhealthy Journey,” which has parts of a buddy film, a romance and a prank present, spills each conceivable bodily fluid and stomps on delicate sensibilities, however manages to do that with heat and earned sentiment.

Key to its success is the benevolently mischievous charisma of Eric Andre, an anarchic performer who all the time appears on the verge of unintentional destruction, whether or not in his standup or his brilliantly experimental speak present. He strikes via “Unhealthy Journey” like a large pane of glass in a silent film. His fragility earns your sympathy proper from the beginning.

Within the first scene, his character, Chris, working at a Florida carwash, chats with a buyer when he spots within the distance a lady who was his highschool crush. Mouth agape, soupy music within the background, he explains how nervous he feels seeing her, earlier than by accident stepping towards a vacuum that immediately sucks off his bounce swimsuit. He’s left bare because the lady approaches. He and the lady are actors, however the stranger watching this unfold shouldn’t be, and this whole stunt is engineered to search out comedy in his response whereas setting the gears of the plot in movement. It’s secondhand cringe comedy.

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