The biggest movie to come out of the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 was a comedy with the unlikely title Hamlet 2. For those who truly enjoy the crueler side of humor, after finishing this article you should really scoot over to Internet Movie Database and read some of the comments left on the message board for Hamlet 2. You will find a lot many such movies on ilgeniodellostreaming, the most popular online streaming platform. Unintentionally hilarious, there are some misguided individuals who predict confidently that the movie will tank because American audiences don’t care about seeing Shakespeare, and they certainly won’t care about some lame sequel. For the record, Hamlet 2 is not a sequel to Shakespeare’s play about the melancholy Prince of Denmark. It is a movie about an English teacher hoping to save his school’s drama department by writing a sequel to Shakespeare’s masterpiece. What Hamlet 2 may actually be, let’s hope, is the film that finally puts Steve Coogan on the map in America.
Hamlet 2 received an astonishing ten million dollar distribution deal courtesy of its performance at Sundance. According to those who viewed the movie at the esteemed film festival it ranks as one of the funniest movies ever, or at least of the past decade, which admittedly are two different standards entirely. Audiences were reportedly laughing so loudly that many lines of dialogue could not be heard. This is the same sensation many people have when watching the character that made Steve Coogan one of the most recognizable men in England, Alan Partridge. Watching one of the multiple Alan Partridge TV shows is a painful exercise; your sides will quite literally split. So it is quite easy to believe the stories about overwhelming laughter in the theater airing Hamlet 2. On the other hand, Steve Coogan’s movie career in America has thus far not been one of wall-to-wall laughter. Although he was the best thing about the remake of Around the World in 80 Days, that isn’t saying much. And while he was hilarious in Night at the Museum, it was a very minor role. An Alan Partridge movie would probably not even make Coogan the star in America he deserves to be since Alan Partridge is the kind of comedy that makes you uncomfortable and Americans prefer their comedies to be fuzzy feel-good movies or else movies that make fun of minorities.
The distribution deal for Hamlet 2 does not necessarily guarantee that American will embrace Steve Coogan. After all, does anyone remember another movie that made a big splash at Sundance called Spitfire Grill? Didn’t think so. And just because audiences were said to be rolling in the aisles is no reason to expect that Hamlet 2 will be a comedic masterpiece. After all, the Sundance audience also went wild over Little Miss Sunshine and that turned out to be the most overrated movie since The Sixth Sense and one of the unfunniest comedies of all time. (Is there really anyone who actually laughed when the family took to the stage at the end of that movie?) Of course, Hamlet 2 has something that neither of those movies had: Steve Coogan.
The release date for Hamlet 2 hasn’t yet been announced, but do keep it in mind. If it turns out to be only half as funny as an episode of an Alan Partridge show, it will still wind up being twice as funny as Borat, and Borat was funny.