The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Advance Review: The Groomsmen

Written by: Lance Carmichael, CC2K Staff Writer

Today on CC2K we're looking back at some of our favorite articles from the Crapfest section. Our featured article is Lance Carmichael's legendary advance review of Ed Burns' immortal classic, The Groomsmen.


The Lord of All.

Summer 2006 has had a lot of hotly-anticipated potential blockbusters: Mission: Impossible 3, X3, Superman Returns … you name it. If it’s big, it’s headed to a multiplex near you. 

But every summer inevitably features a sleeper hit, something that the ad wizards at the studios failed to project into a ticket-selling behemoth, but which nevertheless takes everyone by surprise and hits a chord with audiences across the nation. The Blair Witch Project, Wedding Crashers, Saw … it’s as inevitable as fireworks on the Fourth of July. Well, folks, I’ve been lucky enough to see an advanced screening of what’s sure to be Summer 2006’s Monster Sleeper Hit, and, like all Sleeper Hits, it’s going to be a surprise for a lot of you out there.

Who would have predicted that little Eddie Burns, the actor-director behind the low-key indie breakout The Brothers McMullen and the mediocre Sidewalks of New York has made the film everyone’s sure to be talking about as they stand around their watercoolers, Coleman grills, and mammoth home entertainment centers designed to drum out all thoughts of existential oblivion in a rapidly-cooling universe?  Ladies and gents, it’s called The Groosmen, and it’s going to hit theaters on July 14th like a fucking thunderbolt from God’s ass, leaving millions of stunned moviegoers in a panic as every preconception they had about film is challenged, held up in scorn, crucified for three days and three nights, and cast aside like a false prophet onto the cold, hard, unforgiving sidewalks of New York.

Here’s the synopsis some inadequate ad man – cringing underneath his desk as the Lidless Eye of Edward Burns regards him in cold, pitiless, beyond-human logic before dismissing him as a claw scuttling across the floor of the sea – came up with to try and interest humanity in turning out in what will be soon be droves: “Edward Burns directs and stars in this wedding comedy, which finds a groom and his groomsmen pondering some big issues prior to the big day.”

No doubt all human language skulks away ashamed, tail between legs, as it throws itself on the rocks of The Groosmen and attempts to somehow describe the awesome, sublime experience of watching this movie, knowing that no combination of words – no matter how ingenious the writer – can possibly sum up even one minute of its screen time. Intellects far greater than my own would grow pale and silent when presented with the unenviable task of synopsization, and a string of totally sensible suicides–the only rational course for those attempting to follow in The Groomsmen’s seismic artistic wake – amongst our most sparkling literati would (and probably will) inevitably result. Rather than attempting to sum up the movie – which, again, is a duty even the Gods of Olympus would find a laughable impossibility – let me just describe the inevitable aftereffects the theatrical release of The Groomsmen will unleash on our world.

First and foremost, all humankind will turn out to see this movie in shocking numbers. Astronauts will remark on how virtually overnight Earth will change from appearing as a sedate blue planet from outer space to a melee resembling nothing so much as a vacant lot filled with ant hills stirred up by the very Stick of God, as humans the world over crush everything in their path to get to theaters while tickets remain. National Guards will be mobilized and dispatched to multiplexes as bloodthirsty mobs – turned away from the box office by record sell-outs – tear each other apart in the streets of our cities and suburbs. Brother will be turned against brother as even these law-keeping local militias will join the anarchic fray, driven mad by the mere sight of Edward Burns’ name on the movie’s poster and the tantalizing secrets it promises to unlock.

The machinery of the global economy will quickly rip itself to scrap as the Lever that is The Groosmen sticks itself into the wheels of productivity and all human labor not related to seeing this movie again and again and again abruptly and cataclysmically comes to a shrieking stop. Humankind will lose its ability to feed itself or even leave the theater seats long enough to defecate in a toilet while emergency prints of this movie are struck and dispatched to every community center across the globe, to be played around the clock to the demented, drooling savages once called “mankind.” Millions and billions will kill themselves in their seats as they despair about not being able to see, hear, smell, touch and taste every frame of this film at one time, for now and all eternity. Once-conservative soccer moms will storm the projection booths, pull out scalpels and saws looted wily-nily from hospitals and garages alike, and perform self-lobotomies as they vainly try and shove the actual celluloid prints into their cerebral cortexes. 

All of this anarchy will be but a prelude to what will happen to the career of Edward Burns.

First of all, heads of state will call news conferences – played on every TV station across the globe – and declare Burns the absolute, unquestioned master of all humanity in perpetituity, before falling to one knee and begging forgiveness for having the arrogance of holding office while The Emperor and Godhead-For-Life walked the earth. A veritable army of journalists will set up a makeshift city outside Burns’ Upper West Side apartment, reporting every utterance as if it’s the very word of god. A sign–or even the anticipation of a sign – of disapproval from Burns will mean an automatic death sentence not only to the politicians, actors, and key grips he disapproves of, but to the assassins who carry these de facto death sentences out by disappointed would-be assassins who had hoped to momentarily please Burns – and distract him from his inevitable disappointment with the wretched unworthiness of the rest of mankind – with the gruesome cruelty they hoped to enact on the accused.  

All other working filmmakers, film students, and movie critics will be rounded up and gassed in hastily constructed concentration camps for daring to make movies without the official Edward Burns above-the-line credit. Religious gurus and political leaders will lay all the spoils of heaven and earth at his indifferent feet as he deflowers another busload of star-struck 18-year old virgins with clinical, aristocratic, blasé detachment – virgins who have descended on his penthouse suite in the hopes of baring even a single nipple and then dying from sheer joy.

All this simple reviewer can do is warn you, the future slave to this film and this ruggedly handsome writer-actor-director, that these events are inevitable and are only weeks away. There is no averting this, not even if all the governments of the earth conspired to destroy every print of this film, for Burns would simply go out and make another one. There is nothing you can do to avoid becoming a mindless drone who’s only thought is to see this movie and honor its creator with all that you have. It’s time to get your affairs in order: settle your estate, say your “I love you’s” and goodbyes, and prepare for the Reign of Burns.

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