“Be Kind, Rewind”: A Perspective-Changing Comedy

Every once in a while a comedy comes along that changes your perspective forever. The movie not only makes you laugh, but also makes you see things in a different way. Such a movie is “Be Kind Rewind.” 

Jack Black is funny, man! Mos Def is funny, man! But those points are beside the point. To suggest that “Be Kind Rewind” is the greatest comedy ever made is to court suggestions of insanity. No, “Be Kind Rewind” is not movie comedy at its greatest, but it does have some laugh out loud moments, is heartwarming, weird and educational. But it is what is at the center of the film that can change your perspective. 

“The Avengers” trailer is a good example of what “Be Kind Rewind” hath wrought. The trailer for “The Avengers” hit the Internet and was viewed by tens of millions. About a week or so later another version of the same trailer hit the Internet and was viewed by millions. This trailer for “The Avengers” was not official; it was a Sweded trailer.  

There you have it. “Be Kind Rewind” changed the landscape by putting a new word to the concept of parody. Of course, parody itself is endowed with the perspective of humor that veers toward the satirical. “Sweding” removes the necessity for such humor from what may still be viewed as a type of parody so that it can become, by choice, untainted by satire. Which is what closes on Saturday night.  Think about it. 

To “Swede” a film is to create a version that goes well beyond the term low budget. A “Sweded” movie should by definition be made on a budget of no more than $1,000 dollars. A “Sweded” trailer should should probably cost no more than $500.  

“Be Kind Rewind” gets most of its humor from “Sweding” versions of popular blockbuster movies. If you have not yet seen this Jack Black movie and you are not a Jack Black fan, you should take a chance. Black is an exceptionally fine comic actor and here gives his second best comic performance to date, right behind the performance that should have netted him an Oscar nomination: “Nacho Libre.”  

Equally funny is Mos Def. Def gives a performance in “Be Kind Rewind” that is actually superior to his performance as a certain hitchhiker making his way through the galaxy. Danny Glover provides his usual sense of gravitas and Mia Farrow pops up in a small role.