The Opening Act misleads moviegoers by calling itself a comedy

Promotional Material of Look to the Sky Films and Wild West Picture Show Productions

Promotional Material of Look to the Sky Films and Wild West Picture Show Productions

“The Opening Act”, produced by Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley, released on Oct.16, is a sloppy comedy lacking in humor. As the narrative was about the journey of a comedian, viewers expected a good laugh. However, the writers’ jokes fell short of expectations and the actors’ performances were mediocre at best. 

The movie follows Will Chu (Jimmy O. Yang), a struggling stand-up comedian who receives his “big break” in the industry. However, he becomes discouraged as his jokes don’t land, and he slowly becomes the laughingstock of the comedic world. He was posed with the ultimatum of pursuing the ups and downs of the entertainment world, or sticking to his 9-to-5 corporate job. 

The storyline of the movie is quite entertaining, yet the actors chosen for the lead roles were nothing short of deplorable. Yang simply does not possess the same charisma of leading comdicactors, like Adam Sandler or Seth Rogen. His acting was monotonous and there was nothing funny about it. 

A better choice for Yang’s character, Will, would’ve been Ken Jeong, who played the supporting role of Quinn, Will’s best friend. Jeong is infamous for his comedic genius in movies like “The Hangover”, “Role Models”, and “Knocked Up.” His brief appearances in the film gave a ray of light in an otherwise comedically dismal movie. 

Not only did casting directors botch the role of Will Chu, but also his girlfriend, Jen, played by Debby Ryan. Ryan’s performance was similar to her antecedent role on the Disney channel’s “Jessie” – cheesy and overwhelmingly cringey. Her character was random and out-of-place, which made it seem as though they added her character at the last minute just to have her name on the cast list.

The writing by Steve Byrne was second-rate, yet it couldn’t compare to the execrable casting. The majority of the jokes walked the lines of being dreadfully bleak, like when Will says “Whenever I go to a chinese restaurant my friends always tell me to order in Chinese and I’m like ‘Bro, we’re in Panda Express!’” The joke received a plethora of laughs from the audience in the film, but a soundtrack could not restore this wishy-washy joke.

Despite these hiccups in the pre-production of the film, it ended up being an endearing movie that left a good taste in the audience’s mouth. The movie was the perfect length – 90 minutes – not too short and not long enough to get bored. The ending of the movie was inspiring, similar to the likes of a Hallmark holiday special. 

Ultimately, all the movie needed was a little more flavor. The storyline was gratifying, but when you purchase a comedy for $6.99 on Amazon Prime, it’s disappointing to only laugh 4 or 5 times throughout an entire 90 minutes. In conclusion, it’s only fair that The Opening Act receives a two out of five ranking.