Danish audiences are familiar with the work of Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen because they’ve had six seasons of their television show Klown (in which they play characters named Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen). But most Americans won’t be able to get their first look at their comedy until July 27, when the feature film of the same name is released in theaters and on VOD, and it’s definitely worth a look.
Frank and Casper aren’t really outdoorsmen, but they’re planning a canoe trip because Mia and Iben (the women in their lives) don’t want to go canoeing and won’t accompany them. This gives the guys a chance to get in their annual doses of marijuana and infidelity, and it’s no accident that the route for their trip takes them right by a music festival and one of Denmark’s greatest brothels.
Shortly before their trip, Frank learns that Mia is pregnant, but for some reason, she doesn’t have a lot of confidence in Frank’s ability to be a good father. To give him a chance to prove himself, she sets up an opportunity for Frank to babysit her nephew Bo for a night. But when things don’t go so well with that, Frank takes it upon himself to kidnap Bo and take him along on the canoe trip. Frank is determined to somehow be a good father figure while Casper is chasing after girls only a few years older than Bo.
Klown is a hilarious raunchy comedy with a big heart and a small willy. It’s definitely not for people who are offended by nudity or sexual situations (and it’s kind of surprising that it managed to achieve an R rating), but it is for people who like really funny things. A lot of the comedy comes from uncomfortable situations, but it never crosses the line into becoming so awkward that it’s difficult to watch, even when you can see a situation building well in advance of the payoff. I do think that the film’s green-band trailer spoils a couple of jokes and some plot points, and the red-band trailer gives away one of the funniest scenes, so I’d recommend not watching either of them before seeing the movie. But this isn’t a film that gives everything away, so even if you’ve already seen either of the trailers then you’ll still find a lot to love about it.
Although it was originally intended for fans of the television series, the movie isn’t at all difficult to follow for people who have never seen the show, although the film probably references the show in ways that I didn’t catch. Tim League, founder of Klown distributor Drafthouse Films (and the Alamo Drafthouse), has suggested that if there’s enough interest in the film that they may also release the TV show, and I certainly hope that will become a reality.