“If you wonder why society is going down the drain, take a look at the people who are having children. Then take a look at the people who you think would make good parents. That should tell you just about everything you need to know.” - Bill Burr
Bill Burr has, in recent years, actually managed to calm down a bit. At one time he could be compared to the devil on your shoulder telling you to say whatever intrusive thoughts come barreling into your brain space. Needless to say his way of thinking wasn’t what one might call conducive to a successful marriage. It might explain why he had his first child when he was roughly forty-nine years old. It took him that long to finally admit he needed to work on himself. I’m kidding of course but I also believe he wouldn’t exactly disagree either.
His way of delivering humor has always been a highlight in the world of stand-up comedy. The way he badgers women and then refutes their half-hearted rebuttals has always been hilarious. Especially when he matches their random, nonsensical outbursts with logic and they’re left speechless for the first time in their lives is classic Bill Burr comedy. Again this is meant to all be in good fun but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s at least in some way refreshing to hear the thoughts in my head given a proper voice. In this case the thoughts in my head just happen to sound like an angry, middle-aged, bald white dude. Named Bill. You work with what you got.
Old Dads is clearly based, loosely, on the character that is Bill Burr. However exaggerated his personality is made to be on stage is the version of him we get in the movie, written and directed by Burr himself. Much of his stand-up material has consisted of him essentially yelling at women for the most random reasons and then ultimately admitting he may just be a part of the problem. Specifically his anger and his complete lack of control over his temper riddled tantrums. Ya see ladies, he gives you and your way of thinking a hard time but never forget one important detail, he’s fucking crazy. And angry. It’s a witches brew if I’ve ever seen one. He just has a knack of making it funny because he roots the comedy in his childhood traumas like any successful comedian tends to do. Being able to laugh at your drunk, angry father as he threatens to kick you through a wall is just one step closer to finding acceptance.
Much like his character in Old Dads it was the birth of his children that truly got him to focus and control his anger. While still very much an observer of the obscenely stupid, mostly in the little things of life, he has found a way to in a sense, countdown from ten, take a deep breath or drop a few “whoosahs.” Whatever he’s doing now I’d say he’s more irritated as opposed to brimming with murderous rage like he once was in his early days.
Old Dads is seemingly Bill’s attempt at dramatizing his own tendencies that he’s spent an entire career on stage talking about or rather yelling about. And to great success I might add.
Bill plays Jack, a short-tempered man becoming a father of two late in life. For decades he’s operated under the idea that anything made after the late 80s is for the birds. To enforce his dated thinking are his two best friends and business partners, played hilariously by Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine. Unexpectedly all three find themselves experiencing certain aspects of becoming family men later in life than normal. Little kids at their feet with their graying, balding heads firmly in 1987 when they were still “cool.” Together they try to navigate a world they no longer understand and that no longer understands them. Anger management, riding scooters at thirty years-old, tolerating private school with the most insufferable people imaginable. They weren’t built for this and it’s starting to show.
Old Dads is a small escape from the complicated. Whether it’s the complications in your own life or simply wanting to avoid a complicated movie plot, Bill Burr brings you a funny, easy-to-swallow comedy that does a wonderful job of balancing crass with some heart and a bit of depth. While I wouldn’t consider this a laugh riot, a kind of gut busting comedy movie, it’s still quite consistently funny and even relatable. The most alarming part of this whole movie, for myself, is learning how much I relate to the one character all the others call insane. I’m of the opinion that sometimes people need to hear the ugly truth and the people he’s surrounded by seem to think otherwise.
In a world where he’s guided by the age-old “rub some dirt on it” notion taught to him by his own father, he’s stuck in the middle of some “your feelings are important” kind of individuals. A sweet idea sure, unfortunately delivered by the biggest group of assholes in the northern hemisphere. Without question Old Dads is for fans of Bill Burr’s stand-up comedy and for the brave few willing to discover it despite not knowing who the hell Burr is.
Rated R For: pervasive language, sexual material, nudity and brief drug use
Runtime: 104 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Starring: Bill Burr, Bobby Cannavale, Bokeem Woodbine, Katie Aselton
Directed By: Bill Burr
Out of 10
Story: 8/ Acting: 8/ Directing: 8/ Visuals: 7.5
Buy to Own: Streaming on Netflix, October 20th, 2023.
Check out the trailer below: