The Clapper (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Clapper (2018)

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Critic Consensus: The Clapper is tugged along by the valiant efforts of a talented cast, but it's ultimately not enough to make this wan romantic comedy worth a watch.

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Movie Info

EDDIE and his friend CHRIS, clap for a living as audience members on infomercials. They live a simple and content life, scraping by as the glitzy circus of Hollywood show-biz swirls around them. Eddie's only real excitement is his romance with local gas station attendant, JUDY, a beacon of light in a sea of monotony. But soon, Eddie's life is turned upside down when talk-show host JAYME STILLERMAN takes an interest in Eddie, launching a citywide media craze to uncover his true identity. The newfound fame costs him his job and Judy, who disappears without a trace. With no other choice, Eddie embarks into the world of late-night TV on a quest to hunt down his lost love.

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Critic Reviews for The Clapper

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (7)

If it's supposed to be a comedy, it's not funny. If it's supposed to be a satire, it doesn't know what it's satirizing.

January 26, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Montiel treats his story's happily unsung oddballs with sincere affection. He doesn't hold them up to ridicule, or insist that they snap out of their quirkiness and conform. But he doesn't quite know what to do with them.

January 25, 2018 | Full Review…

It's an interesting premise, but The Clapper doesn't live up to its namesake.

January 25, 2018 | Full Review…

It may be early in the year, but it's a good bet "The Clapper" will land among 2018's worst films.

January 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Even at a time of year when movie companies typically unload their dross, the sheer awfulness of Dito Montiel's "The Clapper" stands out.

January 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Mostly it's a quiet salute to classic romantic comedy - and to a star who, frankly, is far nicer than the times he was born to work in.

January 23, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Clapper

Disappointing comedy with an unlikable main character and a rather uninteresting premise. Every scene with Seyfried is a delight but unfortunately there are long sequences in between that are neither on point nor particularly funny. The attempt to comment on the short moments of fame some internet sensations get to enjoy remains entirely superficial.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Talk about an unfortunate name for this movie. Sounds like a rejected idea for a superhero, one who goes around giving gonorrhea wherever he goes. Seriously though, what motivates a person to name their movie this when, for the most part, they will have been unfamiliar with the book it is based on and their mind will, probably, go where mine went. Obviously, I never expected this to be a movie about a superhero with VD and I doubt anyone else will expect that either, but it's just a silly title regardless. Moving on, however. There's this rule, and it's one that I agree with, and that is that books are better than the movies based around them. That's obviously the case, because there is more freedom with a book and definitely far less restrictions. As far as I know, the books industry does not have an entity like the MPAA for movies, which assigns ratings to books based on how 'appropriate' they are for a certain age group and forces writers to remove scenes they might find unacceptable. I mean, I'm certain there's still pressure around authors from their editors and publishing companies, but still. There's far more creative leeway when you're writing a book. When a film based on a book falls short, there might be any number of reasons for that failure, whether creatively or successfully. One of those reasons may just be a weak script that doesn't capture the tone of the book, wrong choice of directors or just simply poor casting. There's cases when the book wasn't good so, naturally, the film sucks, but we won't get into those examples here (*cough* Twilight, 50 Shades *cough*). But it's another issue entirely when the writer and director of the film is also the man who, in fact, wrote the book that it is based on. When a film fails even though it has the guy who wrote the book at the helm, what do you even call that??? Incompetence??? Perhaps that's harsh of me to say, but I don't think there's anything to this movie at all. Conceptually speaking, I like the it. Guy who does a lot of infomercial spots, as part of the audience, is suddenly thrust into the spotlight by this talk-show host wanting to find out who he is and getting him to make an appearance on his show. The movie deals with the consequences of this talk show's host...insistence on finding out who Eddie is. And I like that because, Eddie himself has no desire to be famous. This is just a job to him. Might be an embarrassing one to tell people about, but it's his job nonetheless. He's not using this to, hopefully, gain entrance into Hollywood, he just needs the cash. And that's fine, I like that, gives a more small-scale approach and keeps the character grounded. Like I said, the movie deals with the consequences of his becoming a 'phenomenon', so to speak. His closest friend gets fired from his job, also as part of the audience, his girlfriend also gets fired from her job, etc, etc. Basically, they're making his life a living hell. The problem is, however, that the movie really isn't that funny. And you could make the argument that the movie is meant to satirize modern culture and how we're looking for the next big thing. What I mean by that, is that with the digital age, you go viral and you're gone almost as quickly because, by the time you've had to deal with your "success", another new thing or person comes along and you're pushed to the wayside. But I don't feel like that's something the movie even remotely touched on, like at all. The thing is, however, that without that aspect of the age we're living in, it becomes increasingly difficult to buy into the film's concept. There's just no way that the producers at this talk show would have enough patience to just wait for Eddie to finally come by the show of his own accord. They're looking for the next big ratings grab and the fact that the movie is completely centered around this one show and their exhaustive search to find Eddie is a little preposterous. Again, I doubt that they'd have as much patience as they did. If this were real, the producers would be like 'ok, this guy isn't coming in, let's bring in Grumpy Cat instead'. Plus, not to mention that, again, our culture is such that we move on very quickly. I'm not saying that's a bad or good thing, I'm just saying that we consume media much more quickly than in the past. Nobody will remember that Yodeling Kid from Walmart by the end of this year. That's not the kid's fault or anything of the sort, it's just the way the internet age has influenced our lives. I suppose you could make the argument that I should just suspend my disbelief. But, that's the thing, I couldn't. I could never pretend that anything I was watching was real, because the movie doesn't do a great job at making you so invested in these characters that you care about their plight. Eddie Krumble is a likable guy. But he's also really bland as a character. Everything about the guy is about how what's happening to him is affecting those around him and his budding romance with Judy. There's a bit of backstory with Eddie and his wife (who's now deceased) and I wish the movie would have given you more about his past than just using that as a plot device for Eddie's big, emotional speech at the end, when his mother storms the talk show and chastises the host and the producers for exploiting her son. It just feels forced. It doesn't feel like a part of who Eddie Krumble is as a character, because, again, they only use for this one big scene so Ed Helms can get his Oscar moment. Not that I think Ed Helms thought this was gonna get him an Oscar nomination, but I just mean that it's meant to show his range a little. I like Ed Helms, he's really good, but I just didn't buy this whole emotional speech. It just didn't feel earned. Amanda Seyfried is always good, but her character's romance with Eddie feels too much like indie quirk to me. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but if you're gonna take that route then at least write some strong characters. Because, again, there's nothing to Seyfried's character. Only thing I really remember about her is that she has a one-horned goat. When that's the only thing you remember about a character from a movie you finished less than 12 hours ago, you know you fucked up. I remember more about Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and he only has one line that he repeats constantly (yet it means different things each time). I saw the last Guardians like three months ago. That should tell you something. I don't think the movie was bad, but it was very ineffective at what it wanted to accomplish. It's not really satirical, even though it had the potential to be, and it's not really even funny, outside of a few chuckles here and there. I'd say that this was watchable, at best, but there's nothing to see here outside a solid Ed Helms performance. Yea...I'm sorry, but that's just not gonna be enough for me. If the word 'meh' was ever made into a movie, this would be the movie that'd come out of it.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

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