"Thou Shalt Not Covet"
ENVY, starring Ben Stiller and Jack Black, is a funny morality tale about two best friends whose friendship is put to the test by one’s good fortune after he invents a spray that makes dog poo disappear.
Nick Vanderpurk (Jack Black) is a frustrated inventor who works at a sandpaper factory with his best friend and neighbor Tim Dingman (Ben Stiller). On the way to work from their homes in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, Nick is constantly running his ideas past Tim until he hits upon a concept that he can’t get out of his head: a spray that makes dog doo disappear. If he can actually make it work, he’d call it “Va-poo-rize.” Tim thinks it’s impossible and silly, while Nick continues to work with a man from the R&D department at the sandpaper factory. Tim is even offered half interest in the development of the spray. He graciously declines the $2,000 investment despite encouragement to do so from his wife, Debbie (Rachel Weisz), opting for a backyard pool instead.
When Nick actually makes his dream work, he becomes an overnight millionaire. He converts his home into a mansion and fills his yard with batting cages, a carousel, go cart track, archery range; and, that’s just outside! Tim is thrown into a comedy of errors due to the envy he feels toward his friend.
In a fit of “I told you so,” his wife angrily takes the kids and stays at her mother’s house. He melts down at work, insults his boss and loses his job. Tim is then “comforted” at a bar by local bum, J-Mun (Christopher Walken), who tells a story of revenge he meted out to a neighbor boy. The young J-Mun snuck into his neighbor’s house, took his friend’s bb gun and shot a few rounds into his own house. When his own father saw the holes, he went over to the other boy’s house and made sure the child was punished. Inspired by that story, drunken Tim sneaks over to Nick’s house and grabs a bow and arrow from the archery range. When he launches an arrow toward his own home he accidentally kills Nick’s pet horse, Corky, that has been frequently roaming over to Tim’s house to eat from his apple tree.
Of course, Tim can’t tell his best friend that he killed Corky out of a drunken fit of envy, even accidentally. He is ashamed of his own jealousy and can’t face his buddy with the truth of the mishap. To make matters worse, Nick offers Tim a partnership so they can work together again. Can Tim fess up to Nick without losing a friend and a fortune?
ENVY is an enjoyable, funny morality tale of friendship, creativity, persistence, success, envy, betrayal, repentance, unconditional love, and forgiveness. The PG-13 rating reflects a surplus of foul language, making the movie less than positive family fare. Therefore, parents should be very cautious about letting their older children see this movie.
(C, BB, Cap, E, LLL, V, A, M) Redemptive worldview with moral elements extolling unconditional love, repentance, and forgiveness, with capitalist element where man gets rich through invention, and environmentalist element where people are concerned about the effects of the invention on the environment; 36 obscenities (one “f” word, and the rest are mostly “s” words – most often used in the context that it’s a primary topic of the movie), one strong profanity (“GD”), and references to dog manure; man accidentally kills a horse with bow and arrow (played for laughs), man is accidentally shot by arrow in the same way the horse got it (no blood), and he survives, and several views of a dead horse; no sex or nudity; man drowns sorrows with alcohol; no smoking or drug content; and, envy rebuked and jealousy over a friend’s good fortune rebuked, man blackmails another because he is trying to keep the dead horse, and how it died, a secret, and woman begs husband not to come clean about the horse because they will lose friends, a job and tons of money.
ENVY stars Jack Black as Nick, a frustrated inventor who is constantly running his ideas past his best friend, Tim (played by Ben Stiller) until he hits upon a concept that he can’t get out of his head: a spray that makes dog doo disappear: “Va-poo-rize.” Tim thinks it’s impossible, and Nick continues to work on his idea with a man from the R&D department at work. When Nick actually makes his dream work, he becomes an overnight millionaire. Tim, in an envious, drunken rage, sneaks over to Nick’s house, grabs a bow and arrow from the archery range, and launches an arrow toward his own home. The arrow accidentally kills Nick’s pet horse, Corky. Ashamed of his own envy and jealousy, Tim can’t tell his best friend the truth, even when Nick offers Tim a partnership so they can work together.
ENVY is an enjoyable, funny morality tale of friendship, creativity, persistence, success, envy, betrayal, repentance, unconditional love, and forgiveness. The PG-13 rating reflects a surplus of foul language, however, making the movie less than positive family fare. Therefore, parents should be cautious about letting their older children see this movie.