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'Observe and Report': Seth Rogen and Anna Faris discuss 'The Scene'

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Seth Rogen’s sad and rageful and strange and strangely funny new movie, about a bipolar mall cop hungry for glory, is not your typical Seth Rogen vehicle. (Whatever that means…though it usually involves Judd Apatow and Rogen in a message T-shirt.) It’s kind of a delight to see a mainstream star cannonball into something as deeply weird as Jody Hill’s Observe and Report. But it’s not for everybody, that’s for sure. Paul Blart would probably storm out of the theater at the first sight of the mall flasher and his flaccid, bobbing penis.

Nobody is more surprised that a mainstream studio like Warner Brothers would release such dark fare than Rogen himself. “I can’t believe it,” says the 26-year-old actor. “I watch this movie and I can’t believe they let us do it. My favorite types of comedies are the ones that literally make me think of the infrastructure of the company that made them. It’s like when I first started watching South Park. How were they allowed to do this? What company is funding this?”

In a movie full of head-bashing, penis-flopping, and syringe-shooting, there’s one scene especially that doesn’t sit well for some. Brandi (played with divine obnoxiousness by Anna Faris) deigns to go on a date with Rogen. She gets schlitzed on shots and pills, and vomits a little on herself by night’s end. The scene then cuts to Rogen pounding away atop her limp body (a snippet can be seen in the NSFW red band trailer below).

More Observe and Report:
Observe and Report: Who is your top scene stealer?
Observe and Report: EW review

In the theater, where I first watched the movie, the tense audience gave a collective sigh of relief, followed by a wheeze of nervous laughter, when Faris’ character rouses and barks at him to keep at it already. “I think people are laughing because I’m not being full on date-raped,” says Faris. “I’m not sure it makes things much better,” she says, with an earnest grimace, “but we don’t need to go down that road.”

The sex scene was always in the script, but because it is a big studio movie, Faris says she “really thought they would weed stuff out. And they did some, but not a whole lot. And I’m proud of that, actually. But at the time when we were shooting that scene, it was like, ‘Really? We’re going to do this? Vomit down the side of my face? Really?'” Rogen says nobody at the studio ever asked them to alter or excise the scene. “There were some arguments with the studio,” he says. “That wasn’t one of them. Shockingly.” (Warner Brothers chose not to comment on the matter.)

I’m not sure how audiences will respond to the movie. (Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum writes that Observe and Report is “risky and riotous” and gives it an A-.) My fear, I suppose, is that because of that one scene, some folks will blast the movie without even bothering to see it. Where are these same outraged people every week when Law & Order: SVU parades yet another crooked tableau of some raped and mutilated woman’s body before the beginning credits?

Moviegoers, you’ve been warned. Observe and Report is in fact an odd and sort of creepy black comedy. Maybe I’m sick in the head, but I still recommend it.

In the theater, where I first watched the movie, the tense audience gave a collective sigh of relief, followed by a wheeze of nervous laughter, when Faris’ character rouses and barks at him to keep at it already. “I think people are laughing because I’m not being full on date-raped,” says Faris. “I’m not sure it makes things much better,” she says, with an earnest grimace, “but we don’t need to go down that road.”

The sex scene was always in the script, but because it is a big studio movie, Faris says she “really thought they would weed stuff out. And they did some, but not a whole lot. And I’m proud of that, actually. But at the time when we were shooting that scene, it was like, ‘Really? We’re going to do this? Vomit down the side of my face? Really?'” Rogen says nobody at the studio ever asked them to alter or excise the scene. “There were some arguments with the studio,” he says. “That wasn’t one of them. Shockingly.” (Warner Brothers chose not to comment on the matter.)

I’m not sure how audiences will respond to the movie. (Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum writes that Observe and Report is “risky and riotous” and gives it an A-.) My fear, I suppose, is that because of that one scene, some folks will blast the movie without even bothering to see it. Where are these same outraged people every week when Law & Order: SVU parades yet another crooked tableau of some raped and mutilated woman’s body before the beginning credits?

Moviegoers, you’ve been warned. Observe and Report is in fact an odd and sort of creepy black comedy. Maybe I’m sick in the head, but I still recommend it.