When something has “funny” in the title, it better damn well be funny.
Derek is Funny centers a struggling comedian that becomes conflicted when writing for one of the biggest late night television shows gets in the way of being a standup comedian.
Derek (Duke Williams) is an aspiring stand-up comedian who has broken into being a writer for The Johnny Kale Show, one of the biggest late night shows. But along with being employed to write jokes for Johnny Kale (Drew DeSimone) comes some strict rules. Not only does Derek have to change his style of comedy up to fit into Kale’s humor but Derek also is not allowed to do any more stand-up sets. On top of that, Derek has to juggle personal relationships with his girlfriend (Tatiana Watson), his older brother (Adam Rashad Glenn), and his friends.
“…conflicted when writing for one of the biggest late night television shows gets in the way of being a standup…”
The film’s subject matter is a very interesting one for me. Being an aspiring writer myself, I always appreciate films and shows like Netflix’s Love that center a struggling writer. You just don’t hear much of the writer’s point of view these days. Writing is a tough job and it’s not for everyone, so I definitely get Derek’s conflict in that aspect. With that being said, the film had one key problem and that has to do with the comedy side of it.
I would like to think that I have an at least okay sense of humor but I did not find this movie to be funny. And that’s not a good thing if “funny” is in the name and it has to do with a comedian. Okay, there was maybe two times I had a smirk on my face because of a couple of jokes but that was about it.
“…a great concept and some pretty good acting but I just really wanted to laugh.”
When it comes to the cast, it wasn’t too shabby. Duke Williams, who plays the lead and Adam Rashad Glenn, who plays his older brother, held their own and helped carry the film. They were believable and I could see them doing more projects in the future. When it comes to Drew DeSimone as Johnny Kale, he also did a great job at pulling off the arrogant, “I’m the boss” vibe. And one can’t help but notice that DeSimone bares a resemblance to Chris Evans – does Evans have a younger half-brother?
The cinematography in this film wasn’t too bad either. The shots of New York really helped give this film some life and brought some authenticity to it since New York is the writing capital of America with Los Angeles right behind it.
Derek is Funny is not a bad movie at all but it just isn’t quite funny. The film has a great concept and some pretty good acting but I just really wanted to laugh. I may have been expecting too much.
Derek is Funny (2018) Written and directed by Reid Arnstein. Starring Duke Williams, Adam Rashad Glenn, Drew DeSimone, Tatiana Watson, Joshua Radford, Joey Pfeifer, Jon Clinkenbeard, Victoria Preston.
6 out of 10