The Missing Comedy of the Year Was in the Penalty Box

By brian longtin • Nov 28th, 2012 • Category: watching • Popularity: 29%

Can’t name a classic comedy of 2012? Try a write-in candidate from last year that seems to have slipped under most people’s radar: the minor-league hockey comedy, Goon.

Just the other day some friends and I were complaining: we usually get at least one new quotable comedy per year, but 2012 totally lacks anything of that caliber. What movie from the last 12 months might you re-watch over and over again on HBO, then TNT, and eventually Comedy Central for the next several years? We couldn’t name a single contender on the level of an Anchorman or 40-Year-Old Virgin, much less a Bridesmaids or even a Tropic Thunder if we’re being generous.

Not that those are ever my favorite movies of the year, but it’s nice to get a fresh jolt of classic comedy every now and then. One can only rely on lines from Old School for so long to form fast bonds with other outwardly-adult males. After a while those knowing nods turn to eye rolls.

[Side note: Is it possible there was a candidate that did fit the bill for guys still in their early 20's, and I just matured out of this category? Or have we really been robbed of a truly memorable comedy for a whole movie season? I can think of a few potential qualifiers, but if that's the best Hollywood can do, someone outside the Ferrell-Apatow complex really needs to step up and break this sucker open next year.]

Facing this tragic situation, I submit a write-in candidate from last year that seems to have slipped under most people’s radar: the minor-league hockey comedy, Goon, starring Seann William Scott. A truly great comedy worth watching and repeating lines from for the next year or so among the guys you rely on to watch football or play yard games at barbecues.

Not only are there great throwaway lines that reward repeat viewings, just like the movies mentioned above — pay attention to the announcer — Goon is full of seemingly innocuous lines whose delivery alone makes them surprisingly and endlessly hilarious, particularly from the supporting bench. As a bonus, a truly funny comedy becomes a genuinely moving sports film by the end. Not in a manufactured Happy Gilmore way, but in a sincere one that falls somewhere between Rudy, Rocky, and Caddyshack.

Not enough people must have seen this movie, or surely it would have been more highly recommended to me. Though it never seemed like something I’d like, what with the sports and the punching, I’m glad I got on the right side of this one, . Catch it on demand, Netflix Instant, or (if you got Showtime to watch Homeland, like I did), on cable reruns, right where it belongs, for as long as possible.

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brian longtin is still going to love This Is 40, probably, but come on, that doesn't count.
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