Monday, 12 May 2014

Movie: Clear History

A treat for fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Clear History starring Larry David
Any Larry David fans who haven't yet seen Clear History will be pleased to know that it follows the tried and tested format followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the result is a brilliantly funny movie.  Although not a carbon copy, Larry's character Nathan/Rolly still has some similarities with the Larry David character from Curb, most notably that they both seem cursed with the same bad luck.

Another similarity is that Clear History was also produced in an improvisational style, rather than by following a script.  According to Larry David, in some cases this helped create extra unintended laughs, as for example the character of Frank (Nathan's friend and co-conspirator in his quest for revenge, played by Danny McBride) was originally meant to be more of a straight role, but because of Danny McBride's improvisational skills he ended up with more jokes in the finished version than intended.

One thing which is different though, is that Nathan has a sinister side to his character and this provides a key element of the plot.  The story sees Nathan Flomm fall out with his friend and business partner just before the launch of a new electronic car (known as the 'Howard') which goes on to be the success story of the decade.  As a result Nathan loses out on what would have potentially made him a billion dollars, and becomes a figure of media ridicule.

The movie then fast forwards ten years and Nathan has relocated to Martha's Vineyard, his hair has fallen out and he's reinvented himself as Rolly DaVore.  He seems fairly happy with his new life until his old business partner also decides to move to Martha's Vineyard, causing feelings of revenge to start to surface...

The cast of Clear History is superb and includes the likes of Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan, Danny McBride and J.B.Smoove (the only other Curb regular to make an appearance), and they all do a superb job at creating the same type of humour which fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm will recognise and appreciate.

Something else which Larry Davd fans will recgonise if the same seemingly irrelevant discussions, such as Nathan falling out with the local restaurant owner over the cleanliness of her cutlery, and as with most episodes of Curb, this difference of opinion then goes on to have repercussions later in the movie.

There's an excellent attention to detail throughout the movie, and in fact several conversations and incidents come back to have larger consequences later on, usually with a lot of laughter as a result.  Without giving away too many spoilers, I especially loved one of the key plot twists at the very end, which was very much like the bad luck which inevitably befalls Larry David in most episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In case I haven't already made it more than clear, Clear History is all done very much in the Curb Your Enthusiasm spirit, so if you're already a fan of Larry David then it's a fairly safe bet that you'll also love this movie, and if you haven't seen the genius of Larry David in Curb yet, then check out Clear History and discover what you're missing.

You can buy Clear History on Blu-ray and DVD from CD Universe:

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