“THE D TRAIN”— Class Reunion

the d train

“The D Train”

Class Reunion

Amos Lassen

With his 20th reunion looming, Dan feels his high school insecurities. In hope to prove he’s changed, he rekindles a friendship with the popular guy from his class and is left scrambling to protect more than just his reputation when a wild night takes an unexpected turn.

One of the new trends in film lately has been what are referred to as “bromances” but “The D Train” takes the theme to a whole new level. Dan Landsman (Black) is one of those guys who just tries too hard, and it really gets on the nerves of most people, especially those on the high school alumni committee who are having trouble rounding up people to attend the 20-year reunion. Dan keeps giving himself nicknames like D-Fresh, and is controlling with the high school reunion’s Facebook page password. Things like that atop the old gang from inviting him out for drinks. His wife (Kathryn Hahn) clearly feels sorry for him, because his lack of confidence and social life has turned him into a poor source of inspiration for their teenage son.

D-Train-jack-black-james-marsden

But Landsman has a plan that will make him a hero in the eyes of his peers when he notices that former classmate Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) is in a Banana Boat suntan lotion commercial. Immediately thinking Lawless is a Hollywood hotshot, he believes if Lawless attends the reunion, it will get the rest of the class on board. Dan makes up a fake business deal to get his old-fashioned technological impaired boss Bill (Jeffrey Tambor) to let him go to California, just so he can convince Lawless to go to the reunion.

The real comedy starts with Bill accompanying Dan on the fake business trip at the last minute and we become immediately aware of just how poor and destructive of a plan D-Money has crafted. Black makes for the perfect ingratiating townie while Marsden steals the movie as just the right amount of Hollywood schnook. He is not really a successful actor— he lives in a dumpy one bedroom apartment and even though the fake plan that results in Lawless posing as an interested business partner is funny on its own, the surprising development of Dan and Lawless’ relationship is what takes movie so much fun.

After a night of partying in Los Angeles, which includes heavy drinking and some cocaine and weed, Dan crashes at Lawless’ place, where the two end the night with a surprising hook up, complete with an intense make out session. Let me be clear, it’s not the thought of two guys making out that brings a fit of laughter, but the best Marsden ripping open Black’s shirt, revealing his beer belly and kissing him passionately. The characters and actors themselves are totally mismatched on a number of levels; so seeing them in this romantic fashion is outrageous and funny as hell.

It is from this point that everyday’s really goes wild and even though the film does become silly in parts it is never slapstick and there are no cheap laughs. Sexual double entendres are used sparingly and to great effect, but honestly, what keeps the film on the rails is Marsden who never goes over-the-top, and keeps everyone else’s feet on the ground, even Black, who occasionally borders on taking his character to a caricature level of acting.

Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel make their directing debut from their own script. This is a comedy that is just fun.

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