• courtesy of Drafthouse Films

The comedy of the idiot man-child has been a running theme in American movies of late, with an endless parade of films celebrating the joys of perpetual adolescence. The 2010 Danish hit KLOWN, new to DVD and Blu-ray this week, proves that the trend isn’t a strictly American phenomenon, and there’s plenty of room to riff on the theme.

Written by and starring Danish TV stars Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, the film is based on a sitcom in which the actors play exaggerated versions of themselves. It’s similar in approach to the very funny 2010 comedy The Trip, in which U.K. comics Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon also play slightly distorted versions of themselves.

Like The Trip, Klown is also a road movie. When Frank gets in trouble with his girlfriend, he kidnaps her 12-year-old nephew Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen ) in a misguided attempt to prove that he’s father material. Frank brings Bo along on a canoeing trip with his pal, the dangerously horny Casper, who doesn’t want to drag a kid along as he chases women and liquor.

The weekend holiday progresses and the poor decisions pile up. Our intrepid trio stumble their way through campgrounds, brothels, hospitals, prison and increasingly uncomfortable sex, drugs and pedophilia jokes.

The humor in Klown can be really and truly offensive, but it’s all so clearly designed to provoke that it plays like a spectator sport. You get hooked on finding out just how far the movie is going to go. There’s also an essential sweetness underneath that takes the edge off as Frank and Bo develop a bond among all the madness.

WARNING: Trailer NSFWDAE (Not Safe For Work in Denmark or Anywhere Else)

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