Unfinished Business – Movie Review
Unfinished Business – R
Release Date: Fri 06 Mar 2015
Unfinished Business is an R-rated comedy starring Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson on a globe-trotting business trip to try and close the deal they need to keep their company afloat. Although the trailers would lead you to believe this is a raunchy comedy, it’s the surprising heart of the movie that grounds the comedy and makes this all the better of an experience – once you realize what the movie is.
Vince Vaughn plays Dan who founds a company after being under-appreciated by his boss Chuck (Sienna Miller) along with Tim (Wilkinson) who was forced into early retirement and Mike (Franco) who is extremely enthusiastic if more than a little naive. They believe they have, after a year of work, landed a contract with Jim (James Marsden) and Bill (Nick Frost), however Chuck shows up as they’re about to sign, and they’re forced to attend meetings in Germany to compete for their business.
Meanwhile, Dan’s children are having trouble at school. His son Paul (Britton Sear) is relentlessly harassed at school and online for being overweight, and his young daughter Bess (Ella Anderson) is getting into fights. Dan’s wife (June Diane Raphael) is trying to get the kids moved to private school in an attempt to shrink the class sizes and deal with the problems.
When the bullying subplot is introduced it comes seemingly from nowhere as it is done as a very serious and affecting way. From what I expected the movie to be like, I thought this was going to set up some comedic payoff later involving Dan getting even with the bullies or some other shenanigans. Only as the movie plays out, we learn that this movie is not about making fun of people and actually has a large heart. Instead of Dan being the cliche neglectful dad who has an epiphany and becomes a good dad in the end, the character is a good dad who is trying the best he can to solve his problems. How he learns to work on them is informed by the events of the movie, but it isn’t neatly tied up as if all he needed was a business bender in Berlin to figure his life out.
The raunchy side of the comedy comes mostly in the form of nudity, and uses it mainly to make an otherwise normal conversation more awkwardly funny. It would be spoiling the fun to say much more, but if you’re expecting mostly language be forewarned that there is more frontal nudity of both men and women to ensure this stays firmly in the R-rated camp.
A completely over the top R-rated comedy can get tired fast, and it was very refreshing to see Unfinished Business share more in common with Planes, Trains and Automobiles than The Hangover. The movie has a surprisingly big heart – as well as several other surprising body parts – and a very funny core cast with Vaughn, Franco and Wilkinson.
Aaron, Cal and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: