Thursday, July 3, 2014

Movie Review #23: Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

While in Flagstaff, someone decided to put on Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. For context, I've never really had much interest in Tim and Eric. At some point, I actively disliked them, considering Awesome Show, Great Job! to be utterly stupid, and there was certainly some other folks at the convention who felt the same.

That said, the movie was actually enjoyable to me. If you can recognize that Tim and Eric are actually a couple of bright, funny guys who are clearly having a good time creating a movie on a low budget, you might actually enjoy it as well.


After being given a billion dollars to make a movie and delivering only six minutes of usable footage, Tim and Eric must come up with a billion dollars to pay back their producer, so they take over a failing mall.

But, really, the whole thing is just a loose set-up for absurdity, awkwardness, surreal situations, and uncomfortable situations.


To be honest, I'd probably never actually watched a full episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! before. A few years ago, when I still lived in a place with cable TV, I'm pretty sure I'd only watch a few seconds of the show before getting disgusted and turning it off.

I think it's a mistake to assume that just because you dislike something or don't understand it means that the people who make or enjoy that thing are stupid or somehow beneath you. The fact is, there are many people I know and respect who think Tim and Eric are great, so I've had to reassess my perception of them. What was I missing?

For the past few years I've been hearing about Tim and Eric abstractly, not actually watching their show but listening to people talk about them. Over time, I feel like I've come to an understanding of why they're funny. From what I can tell, it has to do with the fact that they're exploring how gross and disturbing the world can be, mostly by satirizing public access television and small time America.

The fact is, Tim and Eric aren't afraid to do and say uncomfortable things, hire unusual actors, and make fun of themselves in order to get a laugh out of a very specific audience that somehow gets it.

And that's pretty much what Billion Dollar Movie is about, except replace public access television with Hollywood. It's a satirical film about the film industry and movies in general, and I'm kind of amazed it got made at all.

I'm still not really sure Tim and Eric are really my cup of tea, but I appreciate that they exist.

That wasn't much of a review, though, was it? But, eh, my reviews never are.

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