‘Me Time’: When Stories Try To Be More Than One Thing

by Frank Martin

Movies tend to blend genres. Romantic comedies. Science fiction horror. Action drama. Stories that do this well tend to scratch multiple itches for the viewer. But sometimes stories try to do too much. There’s something to be said about a story that simply stays in its lane, knowing exactly what it is and not trying to be anything else. The recent Netflix comedy Me Time starts off promising a silly goose of an adventure. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and thanks to great performances by Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Hart, it could have been one of the best comedies in years. Unfortunately, a late development reaches too hard for drama and ultimately brings the whole film down along with it.

The great premise allows two good actors to shine in silly roles. It is about a stay-at-home dad who is granted a week away from his wife and kids and utilizes that time by partying with his long-time friend. The writing is great and the film is very funny. But rather than simply being content as a comedy, the third act of the film over-emphasizes a point about life and family — sacrificing characterization and forcing these moments upon the audience rather than just having them simply exist in the background.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to add heart to a story, especially a comedy. But that heart has to be subtle and flow naturally. The movie Wedding Crashers is a great example of this. Its the third act doesn’t try too hard to make its point. It just does. Me Time goes out of its way in order to drive its point home. It would have been much more successful had it stuck with the comedy that it did best rather than give its two main characters story arcs that made them come off more as unlikable men than anything else. It just goes to show that it is very difficult for a story to straddle two lines and, sometimes, it’s better just to stick with one.

Me Time is now streaming on Netflix.

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