The waterboarding scene was hilarious! Five guys and they ignore the presence of a beautiful woman from the Wall Street Journal.
After seeing TAG I decided to write a screenplay about how I auditioned my 7th grade classmates to be my partner in a double-dutch jump roping competition. It has villains. It’s like packing a parachute – sometimes the rope is too short or too long. It has sabotage and the prettiest girl is not a background player.
In 2013, the hallowed Wall Street Journal actually featured on its cover an article about a group of guys who have been playing a game of Tag for 30 years. Every May, someone is “tagged” as “it” for the next 11 months. Oh, the horror!
Screenwriters Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen thought this was a fantastic story just aching to be a top-lined movie! Jeff Tjomsic chose this for his first foray into directing a feature. How could this possibly miss? It has roles for 5 male stars, 2 female roles as wives, 1 former hot girlfriend, 1 bride and one beautiful reporter that no one notices.
This group pf guys are veterinarian “Hoagie” Malloy (Ed Helms), billionaire executive Bob “Callahan” (Jon Hamm), recently divorced, stay at home “Chilli” Cilliano (Jake Johnson) and philosophical Kevin “Sable” (Hannibal Buress). Each man has never defeated fitness maniac “Jerry” Pierce (Jeremy Renner) who has never been tagged.
Bravo! One of my two most favorite comedians, Sebastian Maniscalco, turns up as the wedding pastor. Maniscalco stands alongside the dangerous, utterly astonishing Anthony Jeselnik. Bill Burr has a Hitler piece that is a must. I watch these 3 guys over and over again on Netflix. Jeselnik, when are you coming to Las Vegas?
TAG begins with a gorgeous reporter from the Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis), interviewing billionaire Callahan. The interview is interrupted by a disguised Hoagie. The game is on.
Rebecca must be married to a hedge fund scion since she rarely gives Callahan an appreciative glance. Unlike other interviewers – notably biographer Paula Broadwell (Gen. David Petraeus), reporter Lois Lane (Superman), interviewer Suzy Wetlaufer (Jack Welch) and the notorious “videographer” Rielle Hunter (John Edwards) – she is not impressed with his good looks, suits or money.
Rebecca “tags” along and meets the gang. None of these guys even nod at her. Remember Amy Adams in AMERICAN HUSTLE? All her clothes plunged to her waist but not one male character in the film ever looked at her chest. Same thing with Rebecca. Most of the time she is in the background.
Jerry has picked the last weekend in May to get married to way-over-the-top wide-mouthed, Susan (Leslie Bibb). Susan wants to call a truce on the game so her wedding can take place peacefully. Susan looks like someone who is going to jump off a high building – she’s got that hysterical laugh of a possessed cloistered nun.
So, since the 4 have not been invited to Jerry’s wedding, an insult to their 30-year friendship – they decide to unite and go to the wedding. They plan to tag him. Along goes Hoage’s firebrand wife, Anna (Isla Fisher). The game is temporarily halted with the arrival of everyone’s high school untouchable girlfriend, Cheryl (Rashida Jones). Neither Anna, Cheryl or Susan notice Rebecca.
There is no villain and no one to cheer. The woeful writing tries to give Bibb something to do but it – like the waterboarding scene – falls with a thud.
No one looks good. I know Hamm cannot play Don Draper for his entire career, but he is a handsome man – when they want him to be. His appearance does not telegraph “billionaire”. Helms and all the other guys show their age in rather unflattering ways. Jones looks like she has the flu and no one bothered to do her hair.
A big waste of talent.