Nothing (2003) — No, it’s not Seinfeld

“We can’t be dead! We have cable!”

Nancy’s rating: Nothing tastes like tofu.

Nancy’s review: I haven’t seen a comedy like this in awhile. This is a straight-up funny movie, but it never lets its humor get in the way of its incredibly strange plot.

Let me restate — incredibly strange. So strange, that I found it in the aisle marked ‘Incredibly Strange Movies’ at the movie rental place in Portland. It’s THAT strange. Before I start classes, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and I’ve been devoting it to catching up on those movies I’ve been meaning to see. Nothing caught my eye, despite the fact that it wasn’t on my incredibly strange plot. Director of Cube? I was intrigued. Nothing? My interest rose.

I’m hereby naming Vincenzo Natali the king of to-the-point titles. Cube was about a bunch of people trapped in a cube. Nothing is about two guys who wish everything away, and get their wish. It’s in the same style of Cube, and it has a similar concept — the world around you and existence as you know it is totally altered. It even has similar styled shots and sound effects. However, these movies are different in one huge way, which is really a credit to the director. One is terrifying and intriguing. One is straight-up hilarious. Now, that says something about the guy. If you can maintain your style and make the switch from intense thrilling sci-fi to a REALLY funny movie, you know what’s up.

And Nothing IS funny. I knew that it was my type of movie when the persistent disclaimer before the movie told me that everything in this movie was true, and it was vitally important for me to understand that this film is pure reality. I got my first laugh. This film has casual humor — no cheap jokes or yuk yuk yuks here, just two lifelong buddies who are witty and have a good sense of humor between them. One, David, is a constant loser who can’t seem to get it right in the real world, whereas Andrew is a neurotic freakjob who won’t leave his house for fear of the real world. They live together in harmony, until two cases of framing schemes send the police after both of them. What are two good buddies stuck in a crazy crazy world gonna do?

Apparently, strong enough hate can make bad things go away. You can hate the world away, says this movie. And that’s exactly what they did. Twenty minutes into the movie, these two guys close their eyes, and suddenly the world outside their house is white space. White, bouncy, tofu-like space. And for these guys, it’s paradise. They can play video games and learn the drums, they can do everything they’ve ever wanted now that everything is gone.

Despite the outlandish concept, this movie is so perfectly simple. It’s simply a cute, funny movie. It’s not particularly mind-blowing, although the concept is interesting. It’s a buddy movie, it’s your classic Wayne’s World or Tommy Boy. What’s especially good about this movie is the fact that the oddest moments don’t come from the surreal world around these guys, they come from the guys themselves.

This is a funny movie, a good one to watch with good friends, and it’s strange and offbeat enough that you feel refreshed. This isn’t your average major motion picture, this is a kooky adventure! And alongside that, it’s cute. It’s quirky, funny and simple, and it pulls off that combination fantastically. Not many movies can do that so well, and the fact that this does raises it from ‘pretty great’ to ‘rare gem’ status.

Didja notice?

  • Stan the Turtle
  • Their band name is The Honeymen
  • Most guys just have a samurai sword kicking around the old home
  • During the segment when they’re eating their food, doesn’t everything look so delicious for some reason? I even want to eat the spam, and I’m a vegetarian.
  • Nothing says fun like chasing each other with deadly weapons
  • Andrew is reading The Science Of Logic after Dave made all his books go away

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