After the glowing success he achieved with Wedding Crasher’s Vince Vaughn decided to do something many entertainers do after a smash hit, make a passion project. Vince likely realized this would be perhaps the only time he may get the chance to make something so personal and meaningful. Vince took his chance and decided to put together a comedy tour with four of his funny comedian friends and hit the road, playing thirty cities in thirty days. The whole event was captured on film, and thus we have the funny enough and surprisingly thoughtful documentary Vince Vaugh’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days and 30 Nights-Hollywood to the Heartland.
The tour and the film’s success heavily relied on Vince’s choosing of what comedians would be on the tour. Mr. Vaughn’s proves to that he is a good judge of talent, as well as insightful with his comedic selections. Not only are all of the comedians at least above satisfactory as comedians but they are interesting people, complete with tons of emotional baggage and insecurities. While the film does show a large amount of the comedian’s act, it also spends a fair share of the film’s running time on the comedians themselves. The audience gets to meet everyone one of the comedians’ families, which offers great insight into these men that have devoted their life to such a demanding craft. Learning about these men allows their acts to become even more enjoyable, since now you realize just how therapeutic comedy is for the comedians.
The first part of the film displays many Vince’s entertaining antics on stage, and various guest starts. On the tour’s opening night, Vince brings Justin Long and long time friend and director Jon Faverau on stage. All three of the men take some very sly and very funny shots at each other. Vince even does a duet with Dwight Yoakum on stage, always willing to go above and beyond to entertain the crowd. The entertainers ability to have fun with themselves and their line of work proves to be very refreshing and enjoyable.
The editing and the soundtrack is what holds this film together, helping ensure that the end result is an enjoyable journey for the audience. As the actors travel from city to city the audience is often treated to great old-time songs. Also, Largely due to the editing, the film expertly balances the line between performance piece and documentary. The film truly shines when these two elements merge. Often, a comedian will be shown performing on stage, which will be cut with the comedian himself or a colleague discussing his act, giving perspective on the comedian or act’s style and background.
Vince Vaughn’s West Comedy Show: 30 Cities 30 Nights does have enough jokes that connect to make the film work as a comedy, but the documentary aspect is what makes this movie truly engaging. At one point the comedians are forced to hand out free tickets to Katrina victims. The film captures the men on their way to the campgrounds, they’re unhappy about having to go the grounds and are complaining about having to share one room. However, the trip proves very sobering for the comedians as they are truly moved by their experience. The filmmakers very thoughtfully and simply capture this key moment for the comedians.
If the film has a star it is not the A-list celebrity whose name is in the tour’s title, but rather the strange-voiced and lumpy comedian, John Caparulo. The gnomish comedian not only produces the most laughs, but is also made very likable because of his ability to point out and have fun with his own shortcomings. The comedian talks about fights with his girlfriend, getting yelled at his Dad while working on a car, and trying to get a dog with hilarious punch lines, while also relating with the audience. Also, through footage of his parents and himself talking about his own life and experiences, John becomes extremely endearing in a his own awkward way.
Vince Vaughn’s West Comedy Show: 30 Cites 30 Nights contains enough laughs to satisfy those expecting to see a comedy. However, the film’s likeable comedians and its insightful documentary side, is what makes the film truly memorable.