Posted January 28, 2013 by Alex Moss Editor in Features
 
 

Surprising Comedy Duos


The all-star comedy sees Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) struggling to update their languishing cheesy magic act in order to compete with guerilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose extreme stunts have made him a cult hit on the Vegas strip.

This month, The Incredible Burt
Wonderstone appears – as if by magic – in UK cinemas. The all-star comedy sees Burt Wonderstone
(Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) struggling to update their
languishing cheesy magic act in order to compete with guerilla street magician
Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose extreme stunts have made him a cult hit on the
Vegas strip.

Boasting their own standout, individual comedic styles, Carell and
Buscemi may not be the most obvious pairing, but they’re the type of oddball
duo that often produces instantly cult, quotable movies. So, to celebrate the
release FilmJuice takes a look at five of cinema’s most unexpectedly hilarious
comedy double acts.

Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau (The Odd Couple,
1968)

In the definitive
representation of how far friendships can be pushed when mates are actually
forced to spend a significant amount of time together, The Odd Couple charts
the fallout when highly-strung neat freak Felix (Jack Lemmon) and charming
slob Oscar (Walter Matthau) move in
together. The pair had such great chemistry that they went on to star in ten
films together, including The Front Page
(1974), JFK (1991)
and Grumpy Old
Men (1993).
Belly Aching Moment
: After moaning about Felix’s nagging notes,
Oscar finds a message reading “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” and gets
offended – only to realise later that “F.U.” are Felix’s initials.

Richard E. Grant & Paul McGann (Withnail & I,
1987)

One of the UK’s best-loved
cult comedies, Withnail & I follows two young, out-of-work actors who
decide to escape from their squalid Camden flat and travel to the countryside.
Staying in privileged Uncle Monty’s (Richard
Griffiths
) cottage, the pair’s relationship is tested as they realise just
how out of their depth they are in the rural conditions. In a memorable scene
where Withnail downs a bottle of lighter fluid, director Bruce Robinson actually filled the canister with vinegar – though
told Grant it was water in order to get a better facial reaction in the take.
Belly Aching Moment:
Almost too many to choose – but for pure hilarity
the scene where the pair face an angry bull is tough to beat. Withnail (Richard E. Grant) immediately abandons his friend but nonchalantly
offers advice, as the petrified city boy shouts: “A coward you are Withnail, an
expert on bulls you are not!”

Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson (Zoolander, 2001)
Widely considered the first
successful ‘Frat Pack’ comedy, Ben Stiller plays Derek Zoolander – a dimwitted
male model who, after being replaced by Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson) as the
new it-guy on the catwalk scene, is brainwashed into attempting to assassinate
the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Featuring brilliantly quotable putdowns and an
unsurpassable walk-off, Stiller and Wilson took comic rivalry to a new height.
Following Zoolander, the duo were reunited as enemies in the Meet The Parents series and Night At The Museum (2006).
Belly Aching Moment:
Pre-walk off, the two simpletons try to have a war
of words, culminating in Zoolander’s failed put down: “You think you’re too
cool for school, but I’ve got a news flash for you Walter Cronkite…you aren’t”

Simon Pegg & Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, 2007)
British favourites Simon
Pegg and Nick Frost star in Hot Fuzz, in which a dedicated London police
officer (Pegg) is relocated to sleepy Sanford and partnered with a slow, but
well-meaning, small-town cop (Frost), only to find his suspicions aroused by a
series of gruesome deaths in the village. Pegg and director Edgar Wright wrote the comedy as a
humourous homage to action thrillers – watching over a hundred action films as
inspiration.
Belly Aching Moment:
After Pegg puts a dangerous villager in the freezer,
Frost asks whether he said “cool off” as he did it. The two cops then discuss
awesome lines they have said after taking criminals down.

Steve Carell & Jim Carrey (The Incredible Burt
Wonderstone , 2013)

As Burt Wonderstone’s
(Carell) old school tricks are ousted by Steve Gray’s (Carrey) thrilling street
stunts, Burt must rediscover his love for illusions to remind the public about
what magic really is about. Legendary magician David Copperfield served as a technical advisor on set after
director Don Scardino insisted that illusions
should be credible feats, and not dependent on camera tricks.
Belly Aching Moment
: Burt performs at a child’s birthday party in a bid
to win back his show on the Vegas strip. But refusing to even give him even
that much of a chance, Steve outdoes each trick with progressively bigger but
more inappropriate stunts.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is in cinemas on 15th
March.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com