Klovn Forever (2015)
Written by Casper Christensen, Frank Hvam, & Mikkel Nørgaard
Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard
Frank and Casper are Danish comedy writing partners that have reached a turning point in their lives. On the eve of the publication of a memoir about their longstanding friendship, Casper is heading to Los Angeles to develop his career further while Frank is reluctantly settling into domesticity with a second child newly born. After reading through the final draft of the memoir, Frank realizes he just can’t let Casper go and strikes out to the United States to convince him to come back. However, a series of shocking and hilarious missteps.
A large chunk of the American film-going audience is unfamiliar with the Danish phenomenon that is Klovn. The most obvious comparison would be to Curb Your Enthusiasm which is precisely what the series is. While the show is credited as an original creation of Frank & Casper the television series’ music, story beats, and general premise is apparently an homage to Curb. Frank plays a semi-retired comedian/writer who consistently gets into situations of gratuitous faux pas or breaches of etiquette. However, the comedy of Klovn is amped up to a much darker degree and explore areas even Larry David would consider taboo.
Areas mined for comedy in the television series include abortions, AIDs, drug overdoses, suicide, and many other topics American culture has made verboten. Sex in every form and fashion is a seemingly infinite source of comedy for these characters. But Klovn always manages to pull it off in such a distinct way, with a particular type of heart and sympathy towards its characters that you can’t help but laugh at the increasingly absurd and awkward situations they get into. The original series ran from 2005 – 2009 and spawned a feature film, titled simple Klovn that served a much of the rest of the world’s introduction to this universe.
Klovn Forever is not quite a good as the series at its best moments and the fantastic first feature film. This second film outing continues to push the boundaries and presents some incredibly shocking scenes, but that heart which made characters still sympathetic is missing somewhat. And be warned this movie does things I couldn’t believe it would go for, including a secret revealed to Frank by Casper involving a deal made to “even the score” between them.
I didn’t realize until sitting down to watch this film, but it is a Christmas film. I suspected at one point that the movie was a Danish take on It’s A Wonderful Life, but the film does not soften its blows even when you think it could not possibly be going where it ends up going. You’ll definitely either love or hate the world of Klovn after you see this picture, but I honestly couldn’t think of a better send off for Frank and Casper.