BEYOND FRIGHT Review: KLOWN FOREVER
Very few films caught me off guard as much as 2010’s Danish comedy, KLOWN. The brainchild of stars/co-writers Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam as well as director Mikkel Nørgaard, the feature film took what was so hilarious and fun about the Television show it was based on and continually surprised its viewers with an irreverent sense of humor and a gross out comedy that also happened to showcase a large dose of heart to go with it. Revolving around the exploits of two friends, the sex-obsessed Casper and the bashful and never do well Frank, KLOWN was an addictive piece of foreign comedy, on par with something like if Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm was mixed with a completely uncensored and raunchy blast. Now, a good five and a half years later, Frank and Casper are back for even more with KLOWN FOREVER, a film which is equally as funny as the original film, but injects its anything goes personality and exploits into American, bringing Frank and Casper into our side of the pond.
What made KLOWN so unique and makes KLOWN FOREVER just as fun, is the fact that Christensen, Hvam and Nørgaard are able to take a simple concept and put their characters into the absolute worst of situations, causing themselves such misery at their expense but for our comical pleasure. Now divorced, the hip and popular Casper decided to move to the U.S., leaving his long suffering and uber-normal and boring Frank lonely and left to live his life of a wife who doesn’t really have much to say, in-laws who STILL hate him (if you haven’t seen the first KLOWN film, I’d recommend watching it first, it’s repercussions bleed right into this sequel) and a new baby to focus on. With his best friend moving to American, Frank is under the impression that he needs to show Casper what their friendship means to him, taking the first plane to American to find and convince Casper.
Once Frank arrives in American, everything goes straight to hell, as expected. Casper is always the life of the party, but Frank, he’s a completely different story, sticking out like a sore thumb and getting both of them into such horrible situations. When they’re invited over to party with a couple of women living in the hood, Frank makes the mistakes of taking his pants and underwear off and almost instantly, a dog walks up and begins to lick Frank’s ass right before the woman hosting the four person shindig walks in, disgusted and intent on getting her gangster cousins to beat the hell out of both men.
It’s in Frank’s misery that we as viewers find such enjoyment. With every situation that he messes up, it’s easy to laugh at his misfortune and the fact that as time goes by, Casper’s increasingly aggravated demeanor towards his hometown friend becomes more and more apparent. The duo are continually embarrassed, one upping each other in the worst of ways (when Frank makes the mistake of having sex with someone who shall remain a mystery in the spirit of not-spoiling anything, Casper’s anger turns to a proposed payback, one that causes us viewers to shake our heads, due to the fact that Frank even considers it. It’s that lack of good decisions and morals that makes KLOWN FOREVER (as well as the previous film and it’s previous TV show) so much fun to watch. We live vicariously through these twisted, idiotic fools, both of which do their best to fit into the Los Angeles hipster crowd, meddling with A-listers, gangsters, cowboys and everyone in between.
There’s a charm to Frank and Casper, a charm that allows us to forgive their INSANE adventures because at the root of it all, they’re two men who are trying to figure out where they fit in, as they approach being middle aged and older than they were when they were popular. There’s a lot of heart to KLOWN FOREVER and it’s that heart and soul that makes the film one of the most insane, trouble-filled adventures you can experience.