Based on the life of disgraced a polka perception, Jacki Weaver, Jason Schwartzman and Jenny Slate round out a crazy comedy thats full of heart
There are three thoughts you can always count on: extinction, taxes and that any movie with Jason Schwartzman representing a clarinet cant is gonna be all bad.
The Polka King, a return to Sundance for Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky after Infinitely Polar Bear, is certainly crazy, perhaps even a little zany, but as the pre-title poster and closing credits photos remind us, this is based on a genuine narration. That knowledge dishes as a considerable booking instrument, as this is the type of narration where, if someone told it to you, you are able to remark, Man, they ought to make a movie about that!
Jack Black is Jan Lewan, a Polish immigrant totally in love with the American reverie. You can stress that Yan or Jan, as he is too interested to please to have a penchant. After wielding low-end positions he assembles up with a multi-instrumentalist specified Mickey( Schwartzman) and they organize a polka band in Pennsylvania. At a cancer telethon he assembles a former Junior Miss Hazleton( Jenny Slate) and they fall in love. But in addition to his band hes got a place of Polish gewgaws, and the opportunity to buy into some high-pitched provide return investment packages.
Its uncertain if Jan understands at first that hes constructing a ponzi arrangement, but the film coupled with Jack Blacks rafter vigour sells that he has no intention of doing injure. Perhaps hes truly convinced himself that everyone will come out wealthier on the other side. Either behavior, hes got a number of local geriatrics enamoured of his showmanship and pizzaz, who cant stop contract checks.
Polka musicians are an fast target for comedy and whats really going to top John Candy and Eugene Levy as Stan and Yosh, the Schmenge Brothers, from the age-old Canadian cartoon comedy picture SCTV? Luckily, after an initial high-energy invasion( and Jenny Slate in some splendid clothings ), The Polka King croaks easy on the aint they quirky? cycles that a cheap-shot filmmaker like Jared Hess has somehow turned into a job. Even though Jack Black is hamming it up to the Nth degree, this somehow was transformed into a film about characters you care about.
Thats not to say it isnt hilarious. Theres a sex female in a dancing suffer clothing, for skies sake. Also: Jacki Weaver as Jenny Slates mother dominates every situation in a way not recognized since Lanie Kazans guest fires on The Nanny.( If “youve never” watched The Nanny, thats a high camp praise, believes me .)
Whats key is that even though this is a movie about a bastard, its all very optimistic. Forbes and Wolodarsky keep the frame bright and the filmmaking calls attention to itself only when necessary. In one such situation, Jan somehow hoaxes groupings of beings to buy into a European safarus that includes a visit from the Pope and then somehow get John Paul II to stop by for a group photo. If you neglect the area about “re going to jail”, The Polka King is a significant circular for the fake it til you make it manifesto.
While Id hate to see actions from the tribes who actually went swindled by Jan Lewan( he apparently owed close to$ 5m by the time he got caught ), this is a weirdly amusing movie about painful deeds. You may even find yourself humming oom-pah by the end.