Sundance Review: The Ten
by Alex Billington
January 29, 2007
This Christianity-based film, called The Ten because it goes over the Ten Commandments, is a compilation of ten connecting comedic stories, one for each commandment. The commandments are introduced by Jeff, played by Paul Rudd, who has Gretchen (Famke Janssen) as a long-time girlfriend that he's been cheating on with Liz (Jessica Alba). Winona Ryder, Rob Corddry, and Liev Schreiber all star in the stories as well. Yes, each one of the ten stories has a plot, but on a whole there is no point to this entire film, besides maybe just suggesting you follow the Ten Commandments.
Each one of the stories has very playful aspects within each to keep the mood very light in dealing with considerably heavy subject matter, at least to those who are religious. The Ten seems much more like a Hollywood fun fest of celebrity friends looking to get a cameo rather than a well-made comedic compilation - it's a combination of every bad comedy and cheesy idea in recent Hollywood history. It's not exactly as bad as something like Epic Movie, but it comes pretty close. Fortunately the cast, even as bad as they are, help rekindle a bit of enjoyment from this film and move it away from the Epic Movie realm. It's almost as if they take it blatantly to the extreme for no good reason besides wanting to shock people even more - including a story featuring nude men all gathering in one guy's home. It even breaks out into a ridiculous song and dance finale for no reason at all. I guess a terrible ending goes hand in hand with a terrible film.
After seeing the film numerous times, also at Sundance, I feel that the review above completely misses the meaning of this movie. Firstly, the movie is not at all a Christian based film nor does it try to tell people to follow the Decalogue, quite otherwise, it pokes fun at such theology by inserting hilarious and, yes, playful vignettes. The comedy found in this movie is both envelope pushing and laugh out load hilarious! One of the best films I have seen in ages. Its all-star cast only adds to the reason this film is appealing, but it is most certainly not the only one.
Movie Goer on Feb 24, 2007
Sorry, new comments are no longer allowed.