Comedy is a very tricky thing to pull off especially in film. This is because there are seldom few things that everyone is going to find universally funny. As such it is rare to find a comedy that is going to appeal to a wide audience with movies such as Airplane proving to be the exception. Usually then what most comedy films attempt to do is target a specific audience and then attempt to make the finished product as relatable to that audience as possible thus earning that audience’s love, admiration, and money to add to their box office total. Indeed this is how such films as The Hangover, Wedding Crashers, and even Beverly Hills Cop were all successful. It isn’t just that they are hilarious; they all are. It’s also however, the fact that these comedies all appealed to a specific group, and those specific groups all loved what they saw and continued to go see it; both in theaters and at home either on DVD or, ugh, TV….even if the majority of the channels NOT named HBO or Showtime usually censor or cut out all the good parts.
This of course brings us to the movie I had the pleasure of watching recently known as Appiness and I gotta be honest with you guys; this movie isn’t terrible, but it’s not great either. This is highly unfortunate for the finished product because not only is the cast for the most part likable enough that you actually find yourself willing to go along the journey that they go on, but also because this movie’s premise actually has solid comedic potential. I mean the idea that one of our main characters spends his time buying up all these website names in the public domain easily could have made this movie a terrific send-up of such companies as GoDaddy that actually do sell people such things in the real world alone. Not only that, but the characters and their desire to become billionaires through a start-up company could also have made for a really wonderful yet very biting satire of the start-up industry the way Glengarry Glen Ross or Swimming With Sharks were satirical yet also realistic and darkly comical in many respects looks at what it is like in the worlds of sales and the entertainment industry respectively.
Yet even though this film has these ideas at their disposal, it’s almost like the cast and crew really don’t quite know if that’s the movie that they really want to make. That’s not to say that the people in this movie aren’t trying on either side of the camera because they are. It’s just that this is a movie that is so predictable and so one-note in many respects towards its execution that you would not be alone if, like me, you saw a lot of plot beats coming a mile away.
Thus as it stands Appiness is not a terrible film by any standard or stretch of the imagination, but much like a lot of the apps that populate our phones and which we utilize in our day-to-day lives there are way more glitches to be found than reasons to keep this up on your computer or phone. Proceed at your own risk. On a scale of 1-5 I give Appiness a 2.5 out of 5.