Standing-up comedians have long been cinematic auteurs, ignoring Woody Allen and Louis C.K. mistakes after their success. Bill Burr's angry-guy performance in Netflix's comical "Old Dads." was a horrible idea given his stage heat.
Burr, together with elder dad Ben Tishler, directs, stars, and co-writes to portray the oddities of modern parenting. Jack, his character, is openly hostile to wheat-germ-eating private schools and youngsters “dressed like f—in’ news anchors.”
Jack, 51, is expecting his second child with wife Katie Aselton and has five-year-old kids with friend Connor (Bobby Cannavale). His mother defends this monster by saying, "What you're feeling now is what you're feeling." Release it.
Jack, Connor, and their third friend and business partner Mike (Bokeem Woodbine) are unhappy with their 20-something boss who talks of “liberating” employees after selling their sports-jersey firm. After seeing his child's principal (Rachael Harris), Jack must bite his lip to get him into a prestigious private school.
Old Dads" has several funny moments, especially for those familiar with specific Los Angeles quadrants (more like the outlying Valley and neighboring places).
Stand-up comedians, like Burr and Dave Chappelle, reserve (and even enjoy) the freedom to offend, making their material unappealing to some.
Burr mocks a White parent at the school who links a slur intended at women to the N-word in the movie, repeating his 2020 “Saturday Night Live” jokes about “woke” White women.
Mike Bertolina, Burr's business partner, told the Hollywood Reporter the film repackaged his stand-up “in a narrative format,” which is true. The problem is that Burr, or his alter ego, focuses his rants at someone in movies, changing the dynamic.
Fans of Burr will like “Old Dads,” even though it smooths his edges and makes him confront his cave-man attitude.
However, shoehorning a stand-up performance into a film is now more difficult than before, and Old Dads' core formula hasn't aged well, despite or maybe because of his comics.