Go to the site for Paul Feig‘s Unaccompanied Minors (Warner Bros., 12.8) and right away you’re thinking 180s, escape routes, avoidance patterns. The cast list tells me they’ve got Brett Kelly (Bad Santa) costarring as Beef Welllington, in the part of the morbidly obese kid, which every comedy seems to have these days. Morbidly obese people used to be oddities — in today’s culture young kids who are probably fated to die of a heart attack by the time they reach 50 are totally commonplace.
To me fatties have always been kind of chuckly, but there’s something deeply unfunny about Jabbas. For centuries corpulence has been regarded as a sign of jolliness, indulgence, mischievousness or a little sadness, which makes it natural and easy to laugh at fat guys (John Candy, John Belushi, etc.). But morbidly obsese types are generally seen (whether people want to admit it or not) as people with a major problem — undisciplined lardbuckets, avatars of sloth. I’ve noticed, by the way, that Ethan Suplee is no longer m.o. but merely fat. Good work, dude… keep it up. Word is he got a staple job.