Friday, June 27, 2008

The Hammer: Happy Birthday, Jerry!

A lot of people don't like Adam Carolla.

I've always consoled myself with the idea that they don't truly know him. They've never understood that nasally drone that I first heard, many years ago, turning the dial on my Nickelodeon clock radio. Stupid people were calling in, and Adam was telling them exactly what I wanted to tell them. Stop it. Shut up. Pull yourself together. Get help.

From that day, I was addicted. Sure, it took a while to set in - I hadn't yet started obsessively tuning in to Loveline on 100.7 The Buzz every Sunday through Friday at ten PM. But before long, I was doing the unthinkable - crawling into bed half an hour before my bedtime just to catch the show.

I loved everything about it; not just Adam's relate-able rants about everything from traffic lights to religion, but Dr. Drew Pinsky's sage advice and the chemistry between the two. They were a part of my adolescence, and sometimes, my only friends. They were the reason I met my fiancé.

I guess you might say that I owe a lot to Adam.

So when I heard he was starring in his own movie, I had mixed feelings. To put it mildly. I didn't like the idea of him being scrutinized by the media, who had never been kind to him. Entertainment Weekly routinely gave him negative stars (which always confused Adam; he wondered, did he owe them stars now?). On the other hand, YAY ADAM IS IN A MOVIE!

The Hammer, the story of boxer-turned-contractor Jerry Ferro, is basically Adam's life - except he found his success in radio, not in the ring. Like pre-Loveline Adam, Jerry is a loser with no money whose only loyal friend is a Nicaraguan construction worker named Oswaldo (here, Adam's real-life buddy plays himself). Featuring Heather Jurgensen as Jerry's love interest, The Hammer is part romantic comedy and part sports movie, though the two plotlines weave and dance effortlessly.

Many fans say that too much of the movie's comedy relies on Adam's famous rants, which they've heard many times before. I'd agree, but for the pitch-perfect editing that cuts from point to point, making it look as if he ranted for hours. Or maybe he did.

I can find no fault with any of the acting or writing, but for a slightly under-explained conclusion to the romantic subplot. Overall, this is the kind of movie that I would have been proud to act and star in - so I couldn't be prouder of Adam.


BonBon said...

100.7 ..... ?

Liz McD said...

The Buzz = 100.7
The End = 107.7

I was there in the beginning.