Adopted

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Hunta Films

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Pauly Shore

Review Rating: 6

After the precedent set by Angelina and Madonna, Pauly Shore takes it upon himself to travel to Africa with the pretense of looking to adopt a child.

That is the premise stated at the beginning of the movie. But, but, but…come on. This is not a funny subject, no matter who’s cracking the jokes or behind the camera. Pauly Shore narrates the entire thing, and yes he does indeed go to Africa, where he actually auditions three separate children from a long-suffering adoption agency. But unlike Angelina or Madonna, Shore is not a large or wealthy enough celebrity to make an honest go at this, not that he was trying to anyway. Exploiting the African folk who live in squalor where he visited, a lot of them lacking teeth and other amenities that we Americans take for granted, simply to add flavor and realism to your mockumentary is sick. I sure hope they got paid with something; oranges would be good to ward off scurvy.

So, auditioning three children, two boys and a girl. Pauly Shore is very touchy-feely in a wrestling kind of way with the boys, he doesn’t really do that with the girl, I’m betting for fear of lawsuits. At any rate, the first kid Odwa, is a dark skinned what appears to be somewhat fat, if not jolly, kind of kid. He gets taken rock climbing, to the game park (which turns out to be where African game like lions are, not video games, much to Shore’s disappointment), and then back to the Bay Hotel where he sinks as king for a night. Shore actually tells the kid that Odwa is living it up a little too much before moving on to the next one.

Kid #2, Sumilla, is a lot thinner and more inclined to talk. He gets dragged to do a radio spot on Shore’s lap, to putt putt golfing, to wrestle at a public playground, the beach, and then on an ill-fated trip to a mountain overlook via a railcar. This is entirely a setup I think mind you, but at the lookout Shore is distracted by this hot African lady, and of course loses Sumilla when he and the hot chick get back in the railcar to go to a wine tasting. After much rigamarole in which Shore continually shouts, “I’ve lost my son!” and whines a lot, of course nothing would do but to end the day at the wine tasting with the kid, the hot chick, and Pauly Shore all drinking wine.

Lastly we have the female child audition, Faith looked older than the boys and didn’t say much of anything, despite Shore’s constant goading. She and Pauly go to a teeny cantina where Shore performs stand up, then they get ditched by their driver (another setup) at a seedy street market, made-friends bring them back to the hotel, and late that night Pauly Shore performs again at a big big African comedy club. And supposedly while he’s doing that, Faith ransacks his room, even taking the condoms he was going to use on the two hot chicks he brought back after the comedy performance. Right.

The upshot of it is, the whole thing isn’t meant to be taken seriously. Despite the blurb at the end of the movie that goes on about, even though Pauly Shore made fun of adoption, there are tons of orphans in the world, and goes on to give stats on that. That’s pretentious and an obvious attempt at legitimacy, which you don’t need if it’s a mockumentary! The children all said no to Shore adopting them, so the very end of the movie has him going to Cambodia to check out their orphan selection. Just, terrible.

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