Friday, May 24, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Nature Calls (2012) *

R, 79 min.
Director/Writer: Todd Rohal
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville, Maura Tierney, Rob Riggle, Patrice O’Neil, Darrell Hammond, Kelly Coffield Park, Eddie Rouse, Jill de Jong, Robert Longstreet, Nilaja Sun, Thiecoura Cissoko, Regan Mizrahi, Joshua Ormond, Joseph Paul Kennedy, Santana Pruitt, Adam Dorfmann, Eric Ruffin

Let’s get this out of the way right away so I can move on to what I’d really like to comment about. This movie is bad. It’s about two brothers who don’t get along. One followed their father’s passion for scouts; the other is a con man in the guise of a legitimate entrepreneur. The scout troop is looking sad with more adults involved than children. When the con man brother steals the last remaining scouts from a planned camping trip, the scout brother essentially kidnaps the children to camp out in a state park with out any permissions. Comedy does not necessarily ensue. The main problem is a plethora of ideas without any actual jokes. Writer director Todd Rohal confuses absurd, ridiculous and inappropriate behavior with comedy.

Now, let’s talk about the Boy Scouts. I was a Scout as a kid. It was rewarding and provided some bonding moments with my father, but it wasn’t something I ever really had the desire to pursue. I did the whole Cub Scouts thing; but when it came to graduating to the actual Boy Scouts, other interests pulled me away. None of this really affects my opinion on the recent decision of the Boy Scouts to lift their ban on homosexual members. When I was a scout, it wasn’t something that entered the realm of my thoughts. Perhaps it is the same for Scouts today.

However, as a socially minded adult, I find this move by this organization to be absolutely meaningless. Lifting the ban on the children but not the adult leaders is essentially an empty gesture to improve their public image. If you don’t allow for gay leaders, then the gay members still have no connection to their elder role models.

The Scouts are supposed to be a guiding organization for young minds. Their purpose is to provide an outlet in which young minds can be molded into something more, something greater than they can be without the role models of the elders who lead them. If there is still a ban on gay men being Scout Masters and holding leadership positions in the organization, then where are the members who may have issues or questions regarding their sexuality and its place in the world going to turn for guidance? The whole purpose of the organization is undermined by its very own policy still banning homosexual leadership. Why would a gay teen want to be a member of the Boy Scouts, if nothing they are taught pertains to their own personal growth and enlightenment?

The scouting age is that time period when any kid has the most to question about their sexuality. While the focus of the Scouts is not in this area of life, being surrounded by those with whom you feel connected is a major part of making an organization like the Scouts work. By upholding the ban on gay leaders, the Scouts perpetuate the atmosphere of fear that has inspired such bans to begin with. The Scouts have accomplished nothing with their new policy.

WARNING! The trailer below is the restricted red band trailer, reflecting the inappropriate and offensive nature of the film.

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