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The Ref This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Ref

This movie is rated R. Those under 17 must be

accompanied by an adult.



A current trend in movies is to build a comedy around a popular comedian. The results of this trend have varied from funny Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective to awful Chris Elliott in Cabin Boy. The new film of this type is The Ref, starring Denis Leary, which is a whole lot more fun than Cabin Boy, but not quite as funny as Ace Ventura.

Leary, who rose to fame as the angry comic on MTV, has appeared in movies before, but this is his first starring role and it's tailor-made for him. He plays a cat burglar who, after a robbery that goes awry, is forced to take hostages. This proves to be a terrible decision because the hostages are a married couple who argue over everything.

The evening gets worse when he takes the couple back to their home and is forced to masquerade as their marriage counselor when the family comes over for Christmas dinner. The rest of the movie deals with Leary's attempts to secure safe passage out of town and the miracle he performs by saving the couple's marriage.

There are a lot of funny parts. Leary is great at delivering one-liners, and Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey play the bickering couple so well that these hateful characters end up being people we actually care about.

There are still problems with this movie, though, and most of them are the fault of the script. There are too many subplots that are introduced, but never explored, and I could have done without all those jokes dealing with the drunk Santa Claus. Also, the movie is too short and it appears that an ending was just thrown together. An extra 10 minutes of plot resolution would have helped a great deal. Still the movie is funny and it is worth seeing. .



Review by K. B., New City, NY


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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