THE VICIOUS KIND

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JULY 26, 2010

Strong comedic actors and dramatic performances appear to go hand in hand. Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and lately Robin Williams are great examples with “Punch Drunk Love,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” and “World‘s Greatest Dad” under their respected belts. However, one does not get used to comedians taking on many of these roles. When they do, however, cultism forms around the performances that result. Adam Scott can now be added to that illustrious list.

Let me begin by stating that “The Vicious Kind” did not allure me in the art department. The cover art is a faded brown with no remarkable points of interest. The description on the back makes the film sound just as drab as the cover does. Here is how I would describe “The Vicious Kind” on the back of the cover:

“Adam Scott enters the role of his career as Caleb, a troubled brother, and the product of a broken home. When Caleb’s brother Peter (Alex Frost) brings his new college girlfriend Emma (Brittany Snow) home for Thanksgiving, Caleb discovers a completely new side to himself. Through his cynicism, Caleb faces his ex-girlfriend, his estranged father (J.K. Simmons), and his darkness, face first. Finding himself more and more attracted to the new confidence that Emma gives, Caleb must decide if acting on his feelings for Emma is worth devastating his mild-mannered brother.”

In the heartfelt and comedic writing, Adam Scott’s bedrock cockiness of his previous roles is combined with depth, unlike any performance he has dished out in recent memory. Having won me over by the car ride home, every time he graced the screen (which is most of the film) was a pleasure. His comedic timing and delivery is all his own and is what makes his part, and ultimately the film, stand out.

Brittany Snow is adorable in her role as Emma, the girlfriend. Her innocence and naivety prove heartwarming and authentic. Though most women eventually have to meet their boyfriend’s family, Snow’s performance was extraordinarily convincing. Her reactions to Caleb especially are what takes her performance to the next level.

“The Vicious Kind is a peerless venture shrouded in, literally, lusterless packaging. The adage “never judge a book by its cover” becomes quite literal here as well. As the winner of several awards including best actor for Adam Scott, best director for Lee Toland Krieger, and best feature, the film becomes more than just another dark comedy, but a platform for hoisting those award winners up and allowing the world to notice the finesse they bring to the screen.

RELEASE DATE
December 11, 2009

DIRECTOR
Lee Toland Krieger

WRITTEN BY
Lee Toland Krieger

STUDIO
72nd Street Productions

R
(for some strong sexuality and pervasive language)

COMEDY
DRAMA

92 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Bradley Stonesifer

COMPOSER
Jeff Cardoni

EDITOR
Gino Roy

CAST
Adam Scott
Brittany Snow
J.K. Simmons
Alex Frost

PRODUCED BY
Tim Harms
Lee Toland Krieger
Lindsay Lanzillotta

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3 Comments on “Movie Review: The Vicious Kind (2009)

  1. Thank you for the very kind words regarding “The Vicious Kind.” I’m glad you enjoyed the film. As for what you have to say about the DVD packaging: well…we feel the same way!

    The process of working with our distributor on DVD packaging was…interesting. We are now trying to get them agree to do a Blu-Ray with our original theatrical artwork (which you can see in the gallery section at tvkmovie.com).

    I know we’d both be a lot happier with it.

    Best,

    Tim Harms
    Producer
    THE VICIOUS KIND

    • Well it is not every day the producer of a film reads one of my reviews. I truly did enjoy the film and have already begun passing on the hype. I honestly have to say the original theatrical artwork is a world of difference ( and I am not just saying that ).

      http://www.tvkmovie.com/index_files/TVK_bg_caleb.jpg

      I, too, believed the best promotional work would be one simple thought provoking still from the film instead of five or six random-ish stills.

      I do hope you continue to follow the blog and cannot wait for your next endeavor.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Christopher Haskell

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