Posted: 03/02/2010


Gentlemen Broncos

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Gentlemen Broncos is a hilarious, offbeat comedy that stars Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, Sam Rockwell, Michael Angarano and Jennifer Coolidge.

“Mount your battle stag, grab your popcorn balls and get ready to laugh your gonads off” in this Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment film that’s available on DVD now.

The director of Napoleon Dynamite, Jared Hess, brings the story of Benjamin Purvis, played by Angarano, who’s mostly a loner and would rather be by himself, but he finds himself on a bus full of opportunists who take his kindness for weakness. Although Benjamin is a meek, home-schooled teen, he and his mother figure it’s a good idea for him to attend a writers’ camp, which is how he ends up on the bus in the first place.

Benjamin’s eccentric mother, played by the quirky Coolidge, orchestrates an embarrassing send-off when he boards the bus for the trip, during which he is conned out of his money and finds his personal space invaded by other young writers.

After he endures the ride of his life and finally makes it to the hotel and the seminars, Benjamin finds that his fantasy masterpiece manuscript has been stolen and pawned off as the featured speaker’s, who’s a celebrated writer in his own right. Afterward, to add insult to injury, the manuscript is made into a movie that’s doomed from the start.

Clement plays the writer, whose stuffy, pretentious air doesn’t go with his conniving theft of young Benjamin’s work. I love Angarano and equally admire Clement in this weird, sci-fi film that will have you laughing at every turn.

Gentlemen Broncos is available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, which are loaded with special features, including outtakes, deleted scenes, commentary from Hess and his wife/writing partner Jerusha Hess.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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