Amidst all the insane outrage over cows with male names sporting udders, it was difficult to penetrate to the fact that “Barnyard” is actually a funny Disney movie. Okay, admittedly, the funniest character is the farmer with the crazy wife, but Kevin James makes Otis the cow come to life as a very funny Disney cartoon character. If you somehow missed “Barnyard” you should go back to it. It is very clever, funny and, befitting a Kevin James comedy, ultimately rather moving.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
I don’t remember “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” being an enormous box office hit, yet subsequent years have lifted this character into a sphere normally occupied by characters from blockbusters. Paul Blart will likely forever be the iconic role for which Kevin James is known. With “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” James created a template that that I think could be easily carried forth through at least another decade or so of movies. Paul is a lovable loser who manages to convey a sense of the pathetic without lapsing into bathos. If you think this is easy, try watching a handful of Robin Williams comedies where he tries to pull off the same thing. Try to watch the scenes were Williams attempts to create a sense of pity without cringing. Try it. I dare you.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
It is quite likely that Adam Sandler could only pull off being a ladies’ man by teaming up with Kevin James. “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” is neither Sandler’s nor James’ best movie by any means, but they do make have a certain undeniable chemistry. James adds yet another portrait of a guy staring straight down the barrel of the reality that even being just slightest overweight presents a rough ride to happiness.
It’s not Paul Blart gets a job at the zoo, but there is unquestionably a similarity between this Kevin James movie and the one containing his identifying role. “Zookeeper” has less of a plot to adhere to than Blart and replaces that cinematic device with a collection of very funny talking animals. If you didn’t like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” then chances are fairly good you won’t like “Zookeeper.” I liked them both. And I’m looking forward to Kevin James’ upcoming movies.