24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

« Previous | 24 Frames Home | Next »

Is a Les Grossman movie a good idea?

June 9, 2010 |  7:20 pm

So all those relentless Les Grossman promotions for the MTV Movie Awards finally made (a little more) sense today, as Paramount announced that it was developing a movie with Tom Cruise based on the Grossman character, who of course first appeared two years ago in "Tropic Thunder" and returned at the awards show on Sunday.

There are seemingly a dozen reasons why this wouldn't seem to be a good idea, starting with the fact that the character is based on a single joke that, no matter its satiric value, doesn't seem capable of carrying an entire feature.

Characters based on sketches, no matter how viral or beloved, also tend to make wobbly and unsuccessful features ("MacGruber" studio Universal may be able to share a little wisdom about that). Movies that spin off minor characters from hit comedies aren't faring much better these days (again, Universal can share some insight after the middling performance of "Get Him to the Greek").

And comedies about studio executives, while perhaps an appealing idea to the people who decide whether to make movies -- Paramount president Adam Goodman had fun with it, offering an "Everything I learned in this business, I've learned from Les" statement -- rarely appeal to those who watch it. (Here the producers of "What Just Happened" may have something to add).

Still, you have to at least admire the canny synergy of it all -- trot out a few promos for a cable awards show and, once it goes viral, develop a movie around it. And all of it based on a nearly forgotten scene-stealing cameo. Somewhere, Bronson Pinchot is calling his agent.

There's a faint hope that if it's not just 90 minutes of over-the-top Hollywood caricature -- and say, more of a fleshed-out satire a la "Entourage," with the real entertainment business blurring with the fictitious one -- it may, just may, have some bite. The Grossman movie is also a chance to see Tom Cruise try comedy, something he does with impressive aplomb in the upcoming "Knight & Day." And if nothing else, a Grossman movie will cut a wicked trailer.

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Tom Cruise as Les Grossman. Credit: MTV Movie Awards

Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.

Comments () | Archives (15)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Les Grossman was hilarious in the movie Tropic Thunder and on the MTV Movie Awards (Gotta love that performance with J Lo) but a WHOLE movie?! Let's see how they will manage to pull this one off...

Tom Cruise's success has been as a sexy hunk of an actor - why and what is his management's thinking that having him star virtually unrecognizxably as an overweight baldy guy in a fat suit who is gross and unappealing the way to restart his career which has been somewhat derailed by his other "interests" to put it kindly? Let him keep his hair and star in something that recalls the heat of his big hits.

I thought that was so funny and yes I thiunk the movie would make alot of money

Wow..A whole movie?? Personally, I think it's a bad idea. Les Grossman is better in small doses. Period!

It's an outrageously dumb, and desperate, idea, Cruise's jab at Summer Redstone (the man who walked him off the Paramount lot after his little Oprah-sparked career meltdown) was merely an attempt to get the great unwashed to laugh with him rather than at him. The man has a Michael Jackson smell, and is clearly willing to do just about anything to get back in people's good books. Including indulging in really awkward song-and-dance routines with his Stepford wife. Les Grossman is no Derek Zoolander, or Ron Burgundy - he's closer to Jiminy Glick. Not Actually Funny, in other words. Just a grotesque.

The Les Grossman bits at the MTV Movie Awards were as fresh as stale bread. Cruise is horribly unfunny and is shamelessly grasping for the shreds of relevance he still has (other than couch-jumping and weird leaked Scientology videos). Look at Macgruber - no one will ever care about a Les Grossman movie.

While I thought the Les Grossman character was entertaining, the fact that it was Tom Cruise actually being something that he typically has never done before is what made it intriguing, especially the dancing during and at the end credits of Tropic Thunder. But it's now been there done that, the flare, the comedy, the amazement of seeing Cruise act this way is a dim lit candle. If Tom wants to actually get into comedy, time for a new route to astonish me. Les Grossman wasn't funny in the movie to begin with, just vulgar. I think a whole movie of Les is a bad idea.

I'm completely into it. Since Tom Cruise is involved I'm sure it'll get pulled off right. He really doesn't make a bad movie. And there will be plenty other opportunity to see Tom with his hair and charm intact in other movies.

I loved that character. It was the best one in the movie and Cruise played it brilliantly. I think it will work. I'll go see it.

I'd rather watch "Satan's Alley" starring 5 time Academy Award winner Kirk Lazarus and MTV Movie Awards "Best Kiss" recipient, Tobey Maguire. After all, it DID win the coveted "Crying Monkey Award" from the Beijing Film Festival.

Amen JD91

I predict a hit that will bring Tom Cruise back to relevancy, provided the script is good and isn't filled with a bunch of B-list and spandex-ed nobodies like the Kardashians, Speidi, etc. for cheap laughs. If it has a mostly A-list cast of well-known players acting out of established character (media images) in similar over-the-top ways as Cruise's character, it could really work. Poking fun at oneself did wonders for Clooney and Pitt (Burn After Reading). The same could happen for Cruise--again, provided the story is good and uber-casted.

I'm shocked at the bad vibes others seem to have about the film. As long as its more a less a character piece and satirizes the industry just like Tropic Thunder (featuring cameos as well as more made up characters) then I think it'll work out really well. Who knows, I'm thinking this one will be a more inappropriate version of Nashville.

I. Am. In.

Les Grossman was entertaining because he was such a horrible person but so completely clueless about it.

I thought the routine was hilarious within the context of the film, but no way do I want to spend two whole hours with this rotten guy swinging his privates around like a big monkey.

If they want to make it funny and realistic they should take a cue from the show Action! which was hysterical and pissed off the industry by calling it out so badly it got cancelled after one season.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: