Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Very Bad Things (1998)

Directed by Peter Berg

Starring Christian Slater, Daniel Stern, Cameron Diaz, Jon Favreau


Really, really dark comedy, probably the darkest I’ve seen. Very funny. I have never seen someone get hit by a car so hard and so squarely.

There were a few times when it got a bit silly, but it always recovered. I just love the comedy of victimization, the joy of watching characters try to deal with undeserved shit.

But then it’s no longer happenstance. Diaz goes nuts, intentionally attacking Slater, and it just wasn’t as funny anymore. But it did recover. The end was great, a perfect example of poetic justice if there ever was one.

I also love the comedy of exaggeration. Most comedies feature characters dealing with strange shit, but in this film the shit just keeps on piling higher and higher. The exaggerated victimization gives it the same appeal as U-Turn.

A bold film to make. Most would be scared to make a film this dark. But Berg charged forward into the darkness without looking back. I was impressed with his direction. Lots of really tense moments, always a sign of good filmmaking. Diaz was annoying as usual but seemed to fit the character this time. Favreau was great, Pevin was fantastic. Stern’s performance as a tightass was easily his best ever.

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