Friday, January 07, 2005

Chortler - Something About Hamlet

(Ed note: This is a joke)

Today we present the first in our series of Shakespeare adaptations for the modern cinema.

Something About Hamlet

Hamlet (screen genius Adam Sandler) offers a riveting performance as a carefree, party animal living the good life when he is informed of his father's death and mother's marriage to his Uncle Claudius (Bill Murray). Claudius, who has taken over control of the business empire belonging to Hamlet's father, immediately orders Hamlet home. Hamlet's funds are cut off. Unable to return to the college life he loves, he accepts a tidy sum to court Ophelia (the lovely Kate Hudson wearing far too many clothes.) But her brother Laertes (ferret-like Will Ferrell) suspects Hamlet's carnal intentions and schemes to break up the relationship. Meanwhile, Hamlet's friend Horatio (high-strung Ben Stiller) sees Hamlet's father's ghost (overacted by a bored Patrick Stewart) and freaks out in his most hilarious neurotic episode since "Along Came Juliet."

Hamlet eventually has a reluctant conversation with his father's ghost, who informs him he must renounce his slacker ways and get a job in order to save the family business and wrest control from his evil uncle. However, Hamlet decides instead to fake a nervous breakdown, giving him time to work on his murder mystery screenplay. Suffering from severe writer's block, he decides to use his father's actual murder as the template for his languishing literary endeavor. The scene in which he speaks to the skull of Yorick during a brain-storming session, moving it from side to side for improved reception while inquiring, "Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?" is vintage Sandler.

The plot gets complicated as Claudius prepares to send his seemingly deranged and extremely annoying nephew off to England to a secluded drug rehabilitation clinic. Hamlet quickly finishes and discreetly sells his screenplay. Claudius comes across Hamlet's direct-to-video movie on HBO, and is furious that he has not been included in the credits of this unauthorized biography. Hamlet catches Claudius on the phone with his lawyer, and considers killing him right then and there, but decides against it. Instead, he confronts his mother, Gertrude (lantern-jawed Glenn Close in a familiar role) about possible copyright infringement. But Hamlet suddenly sees the ghost of his father again and freaks out Sandler-style in one of the funniest scenes of the entire movie. However, this convinces his mother that drug rehab might indeed be a wise option.

So Hamlet is hurriedly sent off to England. While in route, he discovers his film has been pirated and bootleg copies are being sold on the Internet. He immediately returns home to file a lawsuit. But back at the castle, Ophelia is grieving the death of her father and the emotional abandonment by Hamlet, and like everybody else in this neurotically depressing movie, she freaks out, and drowns herself in one of the film's more poignant scenes. A sharp departure from Kate Hudson's typical genre of “feel-good flicks,” this scene leaves the viewer bummed out and bemoaning the waste of good eye candy.

In a petulant fit, "metrosexual poster child" Laertes vows revenge and plots with Claudius to kill Hamlet with a poison letter opener (with an inlaid jade handle.) Claudius also secures a poison keg of beer, just in case. Hamlet arrives home -- as Ophelia is being buried -- and tells Horatio that Uncle Claudius has set him up. Hamlet then confesses to having Rosencrantz (Carrot Top) and Guildenstern (Howie Mandel) whacked in retaliation. Horatio (Stiller) freaks out (again). Later, in a welcome bit of comic relief, Laertes suddenly falls through the door and challenges Hamlet. Highly irritated by Laertes' whiny voice, Hamlet goes into a rage, getting into a room-clearing brawl. After an intense struggle over the letter opener, he stabs Laertes in the hand with it.

Gertrude, unaware of the poisoned keg kept in reserve in case Laertes is too big a wimp to finish Hamlet off, succumbs to the seductive allures of an ice-cold keg and poisons herself, too. Dying in a drunken stupor, she confesses Claudius' treachery and Laertes nods in silent affirmation lest he be pummeled again. Hamlet then confronts his Uncle Claudius about intellectual property, as Claudius cynically assaults him with noogies in a way only Bill Murray can. Indulging the audience, Hamlet kills Claudius with a tire iron and finishes off the keg, expiring with a loud belch of satisfaction.

The preceding piece was donated to Chortler by the Marshall Dunn Satire Emporium.


Anonymous said...

A rather warped version of all the salient points. He obviously read the play though.

Anonymous said...

I'd watch this mini-series.

Anonymous said...

this one is better: