Three Good Movies

Just in the past few days I have seen three really excellent movies, each good in their own special way. Two I saw while on vacation, the other I just saw today.

In Reno, I checked out The Aristocrats. This documentary is entirely about a single joke among comedians, a sort of secret-society, never-told-on-stage behind-the-scenes funny-funny. It’s told by about 100 different comedians in the movie in their own unique, and uniquely perverse, disgusting way. And it’s wonderful!

Maybe surprisingly (and it seemed so odd to me, making it even funnier than the others) – the joke is told the funniest, raunchiest and most outlandishly by Bob Saget (Full House, America’s Funniest Home Videos). The punch line to the joke is the movie’s title. And, oh boy, get ready to laugh…

In San Francisco, on the night before I left giving Mike a few hours to himself, I saw The Constant Gardener. Holy shit. This movie was both a thriller and tear-jerker, plus was poignant, smart and chilling – all wrapped up in a beautiful photographed, beautifully written story . I read one critic call it the “thinking-person’s thriller,” and I think that describes it pretty well. This was my favorite – by far – of the three I’ve seen recently.

Finally, today I quelled my curiosity and saw The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Hilarious, and at times very touching (especially the ending – which is also a little silly-funny), Steve Carell is emerging, without question, as one of the comic geniuses of our time. Between his bits on The Daily Show and his role in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, I think Carell is well on his way to well-deserved recognition as a full-fledged, all-out comic actor star.

Go see this one for a good laugh, plus, at times, some gross-out comedy (which my sophomoric side just loves), plus some good physical gags. It also has some well-placed tender moments. It makes the whole story packaged in a very humorous and a very touching way – especially for us 30-something virgins. Ha. Just kidding. C’mon now…

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

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