Film

Great Job!

A Serious Look at Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

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IN A FILM almost entirely made up of memorably uncomfortable moments, one scene in Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie takes the cake: Costar Eric Wareheim sits in a tub, around which are perched a cluster of young robed boys who've been fed "only the softest meat." They are shitting splattering streams of diarrhea onto Wareheim, rapidly filling the tub. "Diarrhea is, like, the worst human experience you can have," explains Wareheim in my phone interview with him and his costar, Tim Heidecker, during which I was 95 percent sure they were fucking with me 80 percent of the time. "We've all been through it, and I think [that scene] kind of hits you on a gut level."

Fans of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! are relatively prepared for this style of "grand finale." Wareheim and Heidecker specialize in uncomfortable moments, pasty, outsider characters—frequently played by amateur actors culled from public access and Craigslist, alongside celebrity guest stars like John C. Reilly and Zach Galifianakis—and healthy servings of toilet humor and absurdly erotic scenes between unattractive people. To many, their schtick is supremely annoying; to others, it's the cutting edge of comedy.

As a fan of the show who resides with a diehard fan of the show, I had the benefit of plenty of exposure to the Tim and Eric brand prior to Billion. "We knew we didn't want to make a 90-minute version of the show, but we didn't want to abandon the sensibility of it, or the humor We just knew we wanted to adjust the pacing and come up with a story that was going to sustain itself over time," Heidecker explains. The resultant premise: Tim and Eric are given a billion dollars to make a movie, which they mostly squander on diamonds and helicopter commutes, turning in only a few minutes of film to the producers. Furious, the gangster-like producers demand their money back, which leads Tim and Eric off on a moneymaking venture involving a nightmarish mall populated with bizarre shop owners. Reilly plays a sickly permanent resident who was abandoned there as a kid, there's a wolf that lives in the food court, and—yeah, fuck it. It doesn't matter.

Despite the ostensible linearity of the film, Billion is just an extended dose of one of Tim and Eric's bizarro worlds. While the show, by definition, changes gears every 10 minutes, the film is one long, increasingly wrong ride that leaves the viewer a little exhausted. Much like a box of whip-its, a few quick hits is boneheaded fun; doing the whole thing kind of crosses the line into depressing.

Never fear, however. According to my interview with Heidecker and Wareheim, which took place approximately 10 minutes prior to our press time, and which we were therefore unable to fact check, their next project is already in the works: A Burger King-funded collaboration with Channing Tatum that will tell the story of Tatum's life. They promise it will be "toned down" for a family audience, with DVDs available at Burger King locations. "Everyone at Burger King is really excited about it," Heidecker says.

Related Film

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

Official Site: www.timandericmovie.com

Director: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Cast: Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker, John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jeff Goldblum, Erica Durance, Robert Loggia, Will Forte and William Atherton

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