Veteran comic Pete Schwaba's shaggy-joke comedy follows two never-were stand-up comics on a mission to tiny Pine Lake, Wisconsin, where they hope to catch the eye of a Tonight Show talent scout who never misses his hometown Rocktoberfest, an annual weekend beer-blast with music and comedy performances. Chicago-born comedian Joe Keegan (Schwaba) has paid dues for 15 years, and the closest he's come to making it big was an unaired network pilot. So when best pal Kenny Caruso (Lance Barber) suggests a trip to Rocktoberfest in hopes of impressing The Tonight Show's Harvey Skorik (Dennis LaValle), he's desperate enough to give it a go. The trip gets off to an inauspicious start when Joe and Kenny run down a mob flunky in a parking lot; by coincidence, he too is headed for Pine Lake to impart a lesson to self-proclaimed "Godfather of Green Bay" Big Jake (Tony Goldwyn, with an amazing mullet), a one-time high-school-football-star-turned-drug-dealer who has pissed off the real wiseguys who set him up by skimming. In the days leading up to Rocktoberfest, Kenny and Joe run afoul of hometown favorite Doug (Thomas Lennon) who specializes in crude gay-baiting gags and spells his name DUG "because you gotta have a hook" and the partisan fervor surrounding an upcoming showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. On the plus side, Joe runs into the comely high school English teacher on whom he once had a wicked crush. Now divorced and managing the rundown hotel where Joe and Kenny are staying, Molly Mahoney (Lauren Holly) is delighted to reacquaint herself with Joe (they appear to be almost the same age) if only she hadn't gone out on that one, ill-advised date with Big Jake, who's convinced she's the woman he's been waiting for all his life. Schwaba, a Chicago native who moved to Marinette, Wisconsin as a teenager, sticks to the "write what you know" rule, penning the first draft of this screenplay in 1998, after years of low-rent stand-up gigs culminated in a never-aired pilot. Schwaba takes potshots at yokels, hunters, Packers fans, intimate jobs in animal husbandry, spaghettomelets yes, omelets with spaghetti filling beer-guzzling, dumb hats and bad haircuts: So it's a good thing he's a local boy. If the result is something less than comic genius, it's genial enough, includes a rocking score by the BoDeans, and has AMERICAN MOVIE: THE MAKING OF A NORTHEASTERN (1999) star Mark Borchardt in a supporting role.
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- Released: 2006
- Rating: NR
- Review: Veteran comic Pete Schwaba's shaggy-joke comedy follows two never-were stand-up comics on a mission to tiny Pine Lake, Wisconsin, where they hope to catch the eye of a Tonight Show talent scout who never misses his hometown Rocktoberfest, an annual weekend… (more)