One of my favorite sub-genres of comedy is the slacker; the personality of someone who generally does not give a f@*k about anything going on around them. For some reason the idea of being that completely free just opens it up to laughter: Clerks, Knocked Up and Stripes are just a few examples. The first feature written and directed by Maceo Greenberg entitled Take Me to Tarzana follows a cubicle worker who discovers secret criminal activity being conducted by his employers. The film has a similar feel to films such as Office Space and Pineapple Express.
Miles, played by Andrew Creer (Lethal Weapon The Series), alongside his co-worker Jane, played by Samantha Robinson (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood), work together to bring down their sneaky and manipulative bosses who are selling personal information to foreign countries. From that explanation it doesn’t sound like much of a… comedy but wait there’s more. In addition to our lowly desk jockeys we also have Jameson, played by Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls, Cake Wars), Miles’ bona fide slacker bud who just lounges around all day and smokes pot with aspirations of absolutely nothing. The group dynamics definitely gel better with all three characters as the flow is more chilled, most likely due to Jameson’s presence whereas Miles/Jane play the more serious duo. Of course a film would not be much without a villain, especially with such a grimy scheme taking place and that is where I feel the film takes a dive. There are elements in the film I feel Greenberg dials up too much just for laughs such as the complete fouled mouth, sexist and complete human toad in their boss Morgan, played by Chris Coppola.
I feel films add an element of complete absurdity thinking it will garner laughs but it comes off more as a wtf moment because it’s so over the top that it longer registers as funny. I feel that is the same with the head honcho of the operation Liev, played by Owen Harn, a muscled up drug head who is ridiculously obsessed with anything Tarzan. Even the character of Jameson seems a bit too much at times but Bennett plays it cool and dopey enough that it does not become redundant. As for Creer and Robinson, they were the straight players throughout everything with Robinson shining just a bit brighter as Miles felt like a very dull character to begin with. There are some comical moments throughout the film but I feel the complete randomness of events even including some go nowhere scenes in a corner store ran by a sex obsessed clerk and his hot headed mom played by Maria Conchita Alonso (The Running Man) outweigh what could have been a welcomed addition into the slacker film collection.
2.5 out of 5
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