Critic Consensus: As brilliantly and uncomfortably confrontational as its protagonist, Entertainment is a boundary-blurring exercise in cinematic misanthropy that more than lives up to its title.
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as The Comedian
as The Chromotherapist
as The Celebrity
as Sitcom Maria
as Airplane Tour Guide
as The Heckler
as Heckler Voice
as Oil Field Tour Guide
as Alejandro's Daughter Maria
as Ghost Town Tour Guide
as Orange Grove Worker
as Party Host
as Cousin John's Father-in-Law
as Ruben's Girlfriend
as Woman in Bar
as Pregnant Woman
as Pants the Opener
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Critic Reviews for Entertainment
There's a chic emptiness to "Entertainment," undoubtedly, and anti-comedy constructs that may rub the wrong way, but there's also a spiky intelligence at work too, one that engages through the artifice of disengagement and the illusion of "performance."
It is not fun, but its confrontational style yields dividends.
A daring and mainly successful black comedy about a dour and depressive comedian on a dead-end tour of California.
The Comedian is an ugly man with an ugly soul, and an ugly sense of comedy that at one point literally includes making fart noises for 90 full seconds as he pretends to gun down his silent audience with a soccer trophy.
Like Hamburger's meta-hacky comedy routine, the film confronts and challenges in order to produce something increasingly rare in American cinema: an active, engaged experience.
Audience Reviews for Entertainment
None of the reviews to this mentioned Neil Hamburger. This is, essentially, a Sisyphean biopic about Neil Hamburger's career (with a Lynchean twist!). Great shots. Everything else sucks horribly. Sitting through this film was arduous. Without the payoff of a joke that is an occasional happenstance on a Neil Hamburger record, this movie just seems flat. Not even the silly extras (or friends of Rick or Gregg) pulled a laugh out of me. Such a sad film about comedy, and a laughless film about existential worthlessness. But that's ENTERTAINMENT!!!!! sadness and mediocrity. I wish I could drink enough to forget more of this film.
As mean spirited a thing as a thing could be, this relentlessly bitter view of life and of people tells the story of a dive comedian on the road of dive venues. He is not happy. His jokes are not funny. Perhaps the humor of this piece, the "entertainment" is ironic, a statement that nothing is really entertaining, that life is simply shit. Okay. But as an argument over coffee, not as a film experience. Suicide is an redemptive alternative compared to this.
Bizarre, divisive, bleak, black comedy, with a superlative music score and an incredibly deranged lead performance.