February 24, 2024

Old Dads,” a Netflix comedy about three middle-aged dads in Los Angeles, each trying to deal with the delayed pleasures and perils of fatherhood, sounds like a Hollywood satire to watch along with “Bad Moms,” or maybe the sort of broad burlesque of child-rearing that would star someone like John Cena. Actually, though, it’s not that sort of movie. It was directed and co-written by Bill Burr, who also stars in it, and it’s been spun out of the kind of prickly incorrect observations that are the hallmark of Burr’s stand-up comedy — and also the kind of squirm comedy that powers his anthology series “Immoral Compass.” “Old Dads” isn’t nearly as good as “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but at times it feels like three episodes of that show jammed together — that is, if Larry David were a Gen-X firecracker whose anger-management issues make Larry look like a pussycat.

In the opening scene, Burr’s Jack, playing catch with his pre-schooler, tells the audience in voice-over that embracing fatherhood later in life was more or less the best decision he ever made. He and his wife, Leah (Katie Aselton), have another baby on the way; as Jack sees it, they couldn’t be happier. So what’s the problem? In the old parental gender wars, men were called out for not being nurturing enough, or for failing to do their share of the housework. Jack isn’t that kind of caveman. He’s a warm, hands-on father, not the sort of ancient old-school sexist who expects his wife to do the heavy lifting of parenting while he’s off working or unwinding.

The problem for Jack is cultural and generational. He hates the brave new world of safe spaces, obsessive social justice, and what he sees as extreme oversensitivity. When he arrives at his son’s private preschool, Little Hearts and Minds, to pick him up, Jack is two minutes late, and this is treated as a major infraction. Didn’t he read the guidebook? In the middle of it all, he blows his stack at the principal, Dr. Lois (Rachael Harris), a moralistic Karen who beams with passive-aggressive pride. By the time Jack is done venting, he has said at least three words he shouldn’t have (one is the C-word), and he’s got to come back and apologize in front of the whole school.

The rest of the parents, who are mostly millennials, tut-tut their disapproval, and talk about how badly they’ve been triggered. And that’s what links “Old Dads” to “Curb Your Enthusiasm”: the way it satirizes a certain L.A. noodginess that’s really a form of one-upmanship, one that grows right out of the corporate showbiz culture, with its fake New Age trappings. What everyone is really looking for is the socially approved way to get ahead.

Jack and Leah are desperate for the principal to write a recommendation for their son (so that he can get into the right kindergarten!). As a result, everything they do is being judged. Burr, in his stand-up specials and podcasts, revels in what some would call “anti-woke” comedy, but what brings the satirical world of “Old Dads” to life — at least for a while — is that Jack recoils from the new ethos of parenting because of how controlled it is. He’s a man of a certain age who feels that he’s not allowed to do, or say, any of the stuff he used to. And that hits home because he’s a father — a father who has somehow been denied what he feels is most essential, which is his authority. The whole world is telling him: You’re not in charge. So he lashes out. And just digs the hole deeper for himself.

Jack has two long-time buddies, both of whom are experiencing their own version of the middle-aged daddy blues. The hopelessly insecure Connor (Bobby Cannavale) lusts for his lost youth — he wants to look the way he did, and be as cool, which means that he speaks in his idea of cool signifiers, saying “pound it out” as he offers a fist bump, dropping his cringe version of Black street slang. (The office worker he tries to do this with looks at him as if he were from Pluto.) Meanwhile, Mike (Bokeem Woodbine) has grown-up kids and is done with fatherhood. Or so he thinks. He’s living the life — until his girlfriend, Britney (Reign Edwards), announces that she’s pregnant, despite the fact that he had a vasectomy.

“Old Dads” also finds the space to be an office comedy. Jack, Connor, and Mike launched a vintage sportswear company that they sold, which should theoretically put them on easy street. But they still work there, and the new CEO is a duplicitous progressive-generation flake who talks about “liberating” workers when he’s firing them. Miles Robbins, who plays this cuddly toxic clown, does it in high style.

He sends Jack, Connor, and Mike on a road trip to locate a grizzled hermit — off the grid since 1988 — he wants to use as the company’s so-obscure-he’s-the-new-fame mascot. Along the way, in their rental car, they have a raunchy conversation about Caitlyn Jenner that is, let’s just say, beyond unenlightened, and a video recording of the chat gets them all fired, their equity in the company canceled. Is this a violation of privacy? That’s one of many glancing themes “Old Dads” introduces for about 30 seconds only to move on to something else. As a first-time filmmaker, Burr demonstrates a certain shaggy vision, but he keeps jamming episodic ideas together.    

Here and there, “Old Dads” hits notes of scathing perception. Connor’s wife (Jackie Tohn) is convinced her preschool son can do no wrong, despite the fact that he likes to hit people with a stick. That situation sounds extreme, but what’s funny and telling is the righteous therapeutic ardor of her language, where letting kids off the hook — for anything — becomes its own form of “advanced” parenting. And when Mike tries to force his millennial coworker to admit that if he really loves hip-hop so much, when he’s rapping along with N.W.A. he must be saying the N-word, it’s explosively funny, because it’s such an honest scene.   

Yet there’s a monkey wrench sitting in the middle of the movie. And that’s Jack’s rageaholic personality. Forget the over-controlled, virtue-signaling era. Jack’s anger really is over-the-top and inappropriate, and would be during any era. So even if you welcome a satire of the new corporate-approved hypersensitivity, since Jack’s rage is a more glaring problem than any of that it undercuts the film’s satirical bite. I realize that rage has long been Bill Burr’s calling card, but if he had made Jack a more restrained character, quietly infuriated by everything around him, “Old Dads” would have been funnier and scored more points.

The movie climaxes in Vegas — well, actually, Palm Desert, the site of a Native American casino and strip club where our trio of loser dads, having fallen out of the bottom of their lives, go for a drunken lap-dance catharsis. But when they run into that doofus millennial CEO, it’s like something out of a high-concept comedy. The film enters a sub-“Curb” zone, becoming exactly like the John Cena farce it was trying to be better than. For a first movie, “Old Dads” shows promise. Bill Burr is onto something about how the new culture of control messes with the heads of ordinary people. Next time, though, he should channel the rage instead of flaunting it.

pull the pin mod apk v0 138 1 unlimited coins playmods
evony apk mod unlimited gems 2022 ios and android twitter
pdf free dice dreams rolls generator update 2023 vi7q
project makeover game hacks tiktok search
download beach buggy racing mod apk 2021 premium
Free TikTok Coins: Where to Find Them
Où trouver des pièces gratuites sur TikTok : Votre guide
How to Legally and Quickly Get Free Spins in Coin Master
Unlocking Free Avacoins in Avakin Life: A Comprehensive Guide
Free Credits in Bingo Blitz: Insider Secrets
Earn Free Spins in Coin Master Like a Pro
genshin impact codes guide get free primogems and mora
How to Get ZEPETO Zems Legally and Quickly
match masters free coins archives crazyashwin
Free TikTok Coins: The Holy Grail of Success
Free Gems in Brawl Stars: The Future of Brawl Gaming
new cheats dragon city free gems mod generator freemind
free family island hack cheats unlimited rubies and energy
hay day hack generator s profile hackaday io
litmatch mod apk 2022 free vip mod unlimited diamond
myths of moonrise by starfortune apps games appgrooves
pdf portable generator buffalo tools
mcqlm evony the kings return hack new 2022 updated
dice dreams v1 53 2 10316 mod apk unlimited rolls coins spin
project makeover unlimited coins cheat ios android 100 working
beach buggy racing mod apk 2023 01 11 free purchase
How to Earn TikTok Coins: Step-by-Step Tutorial
Sicherheit geht Vor: Schützen Sie Ihr Konto beim Verdienen von Münzen
Mastering the Art of Earning Free Spins in Coin Master
Avakin Life Avacoins Hack: Expert Recommendations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *