If one is no stranger to “Curb Your Enthusiasm” or “Seinfeld”, identifying a certain level of excessive quibbling over unimportant details and observations; or rather, excessive quibbling over human mannerisms, should be simple. That specific brand of humor comes from the mind of Larry David, and is far from absent in “Clear History”.
Larry David has started a whole wave of humor and concern over how simple it is to rub someone the wrong way. Both through Jason Alexander in Seinfeld and also as himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm, he continues to demonstrate that with brilliance in this latest HBO offering. He is a consistent nitpicker in all his well known roles and Clear History is no exception. People always have to account for the little things when dealing with Larry David.
The synopsis is interesting. A marketing executive named Nathan Flomm (Larry David), has invested 10% in shares with a car company that is pushing an innovative model that has industry changing potential. He walks away from his shares/stock over a silly disagreement (which David likely penned), and in essence, he is walking away from a billion dollars. All the news networks get wind of this and after much vituperative exposure, he decides to change his identity and move to Martha’s Vineyard. But when the last person Nathan wants to run into makes a home in the area and his new identity is threatened, he hatches a vengeful plan, and much humor and surprise follow that.
The cast is impressive. In addition to Larry David, as the lead, Danny McBride, Kate Hudson, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes and Amy Ryan also star. Although the overall cast has plenty of star power, the overall acting is far from exceptional, it is satisfactory. One won’t cling to to the performances of any roles, since the character growth is minimal, but the film will still charm you into thinking well of it.
If a person craves a comedy, and can appreciate the work listed of Mr. David’s, Clear History should deliver laughs upon viewing. Even if they are unfamiliar with his work, the recommendation stands. This is a hilarious new film, aimed to please “Curb” starved fans and plenty of clever gags and well written comedic moments can be found. Excellent cinematography and lush visuals complement the film, though the soundtrack is average at best. The director of the film is responsible for the sensational “Superbad”. With this film, he continues to make his mark.
Comedy writers, who analyze Mr. David’s writing, should find him influential, without question. He proves one will fall far, if very poor at dealing with people. He might be the shining example of how not to act within human relations, though his characters seem to be speaking and acting at a unconscious level.
Mr. David’s grasp on the psychology of what upsets people is unparalleled.