Movie Review: “The Ten”

Everyone has a cult movie they love,some more well known than others. The cult I belong to is probably not so well known. I am in the cult of The Ten. It is probably David Wain’s least watched film, but to me, it’s his funniest and most absurd.

Poster for The TenMy partner and I discovered this film randomly at a Hastings. At the time, we were going through the entire Paul Rudd oeuvre because, well, it’s Paul Rudd and he’s adorable. I had seen Wet Hot American Summer a few times, so I recognized the name of the director. We had no clue what to expect.

The movie is based on the ten commandments in that there are ten stories, each one representing one of the commandments. Paul Rudd’s character is the main character in that his story is interwoven before each vignette as he introduces them. Each vignette builds on the previous one, culminating in an awesome song and dance number.

Overall, the ten stories are varied in how funny they are, but when they hit a joke, they knock it out of the park. “Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors’ Goods” is probably my favorite of the bunch. In the story, Liev Schreiber’s and Joe Lo Truglio’s continued absurd coveting of each others’ purchases escalates so fast, Ron Burgundy would say, “Boy, that escalated quickly”.

Most of the actors looked like they were having so much fun making this movie. Justin Theroux, Ken Marino, the aforementioned Liev and Joe, Kerri Kinney-Silver, Oliver Platt, and Rob Corddry stand out to me as the ones who just sunk into their roles. Even with a huge cast, this movie flew under the radar and it wasn’t promoted heavily. Despite this, Adam Brody was asked about it on an appearance of Jimmy Kimmel Live. This makes sense as Adam was coming off his OC role and the studios were trying to make Adam the movie star happen. His enthusiasm for his role knows no bounds (sarcasm). If you can stomach lots of screaming girls, check this out.

Like Arrested Development, the movie requires multiple viewings to catch all the in jokes and background gags. I suggest everyone watch it at least three times. Weirdly, this movie has become meta in that two Adult Swim shows have now used characters from it. Children’s Hospital features Ken Marino playing Dr. Glenn Ritchie, who is a major player in two scenes in The Ten. Furthermore, Newsreaders with Louis Lafonda is directly tied to the character Louis Lafonda from this movie. Clearly some people love this movie as much as I do.

My partner and I continually quote this movie to each other and have repurposed some of the phrases for other uses. I really do love this movie. Overal,l I would give it 3 out of 5 stars based on how funny and weird it is. It definitely has some stilted acting but so do most Hollywood blockbusters. If you are a fan of The State, Wet Hot American Summer, Archer, Arrested Development, or Paul Rudd, I would recommend that you watch it multiple times and get converted. We like to joke that only 10 people have seen this movie but I hope to make that more.

What are your cult movie favorites?

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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