Full disclosure – I’m in a crabby mood. And when I’m in a crabby mood, I shouldn’t be reviewing comedy. But what the hell.
I just went through all the Cannes big winners and this spot amplified my annoyed state. Don't get me wrong – it’s a fine spot but a Gold Lion? I saw it’s punchline looming on the horizon like the 60-foot tall Wendover cowboy at the edge of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
In comedy, we long for the unexpected. But in “Party”, we see the two characters shake hands and we make the assumption that we’ll see the old guy eating pizza.
Which is exactly what happens.
And a story which fulfills our expectations is merely a first act.
The art of comedy guides our expectations and delivers something else. We expect the man to show up with pizza. (I try to refrain from rewriting spots here but I can’t help myself. That said…what if another complaining neighbor knocks on the door and our old man, with pizza, starts the negotiations all over again.)
I imagine (which means it’s not necessarily true) that within the judging room at Cannes the “contagion of comedy” took hold when one highly respected judge chuckled and everybody else chuckled and soon they were all nodding their heads in agreement that this spot was indeed hilarious.
Jesus, I am crabby.