Very few HBO series have made it to the big screen. So far only Sex and the City and Entourage have made the jump. For a channel that has hosted Flight of the Conchords, Sopranos, Rome, The Wire and Game of Thrones, I’m not sure why the worst shows were adapted. Granted, I haven’t seen an episode of the 2004-2011 show Entourage, but with my extensive pop culture knowledge, I am more than aware of the show’s history.
As the movie begins, we are quickly refreshed on the celebrity status of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier). He’s never once made a misstep in his acting career. While celebrating his recent divorce during a topless party on his yacht in Ibiza, (Yes. Writing this sentence is making me vomit) he decides that the next logical step to maintain his star status is to direct and star in his next project. Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), who was once Vincent’s agent is now working as the head of a major studio. One that also happens to finance Vincent’s risky new movie.
Let’s not forget the entourage. Drama (Kevin Dillon) is the wisecracking half brother who is trying to escape from Vincent’s shadow. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) has lost a ton of weight since the show ended and now happens to be a millionaire. Eric, or E, is expecting a child with his former girlfriend, but still manages to make time to hook up with several women on the side.
Basically, who cares?
Fans of the show may argue that, because I haven’t seen the show, that I can’t form a valid opinion about the movie. It should be said that fans of the tacky show will eat this up with a silver spoon. It feels like a very long episode. Yet, that’s the problem. Writer/Director/Producer Doug Ellin had the guts to adapt his smarmy TV show for the big screen. He’s putting it up there, hoping everyone will be in on the celebrity-obsessed joke.
As this series/movie is all about stardom, things are bound to get a little meta. The movie that Vincent Chase has directed is the macguffin, as we only see 90 seconds of it. There is so much menial stress about how the public will perceive it and if it will lose Ari Gold’s studio millions of dollars. Don’t worry, the movie we don’t see is apparently amazing. Sadly, the Entourage movie we do see is obnoxious and lifeless.
As with the show, walk on celebrity cameos become the punchline of every scene. The writer’s room was basically as follows.
Writer: We have a scene where the guys are talking about getting laid a bunch, but I’m not sure how to end it…
Producer: What if we have supermodel Emily Ratajkowski show up and just hang out?
Writer: Perfect! Okay. Ari Gold is yelling at someone on his phone as he drives through the streets of Beverly Hills…
Producer: Easy fix. He’ll pull up next to Liam Neeson. That guy was hilarious in that Seth McFarlane movie!
Writer: Speaking of McFarlane, can we get that crude Ted bear to make a cameo?
Producer: Well, he’s not real. But Mark Wahlberg is in the other room and he’d love to promote Ted and his reality show.
Writer: Are you sure this isn’t too many cameos? People may think we’re relying too much on celebrity appearances and not focusing on an actual content.
Producer: Hey, it works for Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show doesn’t it?
If you care to see celebrities being the 1% they truly are, this may be the movie for you. It’s the rated R equivalent of reading US Weekly. If you just can’t get enough of frat boy mentalities, you may just love Entourage. While the moral outrage of everything celebrity may seem to be the highlight here, I would forgive it had the writing been decent. Ellis tries to balance out 37 subplots that may have worked well in a 10 episode season, but the movie cannot juggle them in 104 minutes of runtime.
In a world where Mad Max: Fury Road has rewritten cinematic gender roles and created a beautiful world of mayhem, Entourage should no longer be allowed to exist.
Now, excuse me while I take a shower and try to clean the douchiness off. D