A Serious Man
Come On Now. Let's Get Serious.
Take a deep breath and step back; everything will be fine. Now, that we're all calm...why so serious? Oh I just couldn't resist saying that with a title like "A Serious Man." The movie is essentially a dark comedy about a Jewish college professor, Larry Gopnick (Michael Struhlbarg), whom runs into a bit of bad luck in his life. First from one of his students trying to bribe him to get a good grade in school; to his wife wanting a divorce and throwing him out of the house. To make matters even worse for our protagonist, he gets into a car accident and then finds out he has to pay for his wife's lover, Sy Abelman (Fred Melamed), funeral. Oh and his brother has a bit of a gambling problem to boot. Indeed, "Murphy's Law" of everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, really does a number on Larry in this film.
Although the movie does tend to have a few unnecessary scenes that add little to the film, like the beginning when a Rabbi turns out to be a fake and gets stabbed in the chest for it. Then there's the ending that brings very little closure to the protagonist's journey, as it just shows him as a man whom tries the best he can in life, but continues to face loads of hardships.
However, that's not to say that this film royally stinks by any means. Far from it. In fact, this is probably one of the most unique and funniest dark comedies, I've seen. The Coen brothers do what they do best of course. Which is create an elaborate story that will not only compel audiences, but it'll leave people laughing as well. In their recent series of dark comedies, aptly dubbed "series of idiots", this film proves to live up to that concept rather well. As each character is portrayed as somewhat of a moron, to say the least, and then you have Larry, whom is the everyman that's forced to take it. Larry whom is thrown out of his own house, and forced to live in a sleazy hotel with his brother. Needless to say, this creates an ample amount of comedy as the viewer won't be able to stop laughing at some of Larry's downfalls, like when the Rabbi can't see him because he's busy......thinking! Or the scene, when the Asian kid tries to bribe him, to get a good grade, but conveniently tries to sue Larry, when he refuses to accept such a proposal. It's comical moments like these that make the film truly enjoyable.
"A Serious Man" may not have as deep story content as other dark comedies like "Last Supper", "Burn After Reading", "Bad Santa" and many others, but it'll certainly make anyone laugh. Featuring a great comedy story line that will not only make you feel for Larry's plight, but it'll also generate a few laughs along the way. Overall, despite it's shortcomings, "A Serious Man" is definitely a decent dark comedy for anyone to see.