Don't confuse this with Bruno. Pauly isn't out to shock anyone. He's just being Pauly, and its pretty funny stuff. I can't recommend it enough. Cute, thoughtful, and edgy enough to make you squirm about the couch with unease for an hour and a half.
Pauly shares some truly magical scenes with the African children he is looking to adopt. The film successfully straddles that line between what is real and what is fake to the point where you're not sure if you should be laughing or cringing. This is some of the best work Shore has done in years. Odwa, the chubby orphan, is truly a break out star.
The film is a success on pretty much all levels. And the DVD is put together quite nicely. We get an abundant crop of deleted footage. If anything is bad, it's that Pauly had to secure an R rating to get eyes on this. Because its something kids can enjoy as well, and that may be his most key demographic.
Watching Adopted with little to no knowledge about how it was put together is an uneasy endeavor. None of the people on screen ever give away the faux-doc*mentary nature of this comedy. And Pauly Shore sells it home at every intended moment. He isn't out to shock anyone, but there are certain moments that will have you wincing. Especially if you don't know they are fake. Shore has a genuine sweetness about him that rings true in selling moments most adult males his age would never get away with. The most telling signs that this is a mockumentary is that the cameraman is never far behind any child in danger. But that's all I'll tell you about its creation. You'll have to read up on it later to get the full scoop on what really did, and didn't, happen in the name of comedy. On the surface, Adopted is a straight up doc*mentary about Pauly Shore's lonely plight in life and his decision to follow in Madonna and Angelina Jolie's footsteps by adopting an African child. He leaves Los Angeles for the wilds of that country, traversing the slums and neighborhoods looking to nab any given baby off the street. He hires a tour guide who eventually leads him to an adoption center. There, he is given free reigns to test-drive three different children on various daytrip outings. First up is Odwa, a chubby scene stealer that hogs the bathroom in Pauly's hotel room and gets caught watching scandalous music videos in his bathrobe. There is real chemistry between Odwa and Pauly, and their moments together consist of some of the funniest footage you'll see anywhere this summer. The second kid is a shy, quiet boy that Pauly loses while on a wine tasting mission. And Faith, the one girl in the bunch, is a thieving orphan that eventually makes off with Pauly's luggage, a ring he bought for his mom, and his personal computer. It's hard to gauge what is real and what is fake, and the final moments are actually quite heartfelt. For a tiny straight-to-video movie, Adopted has the potential to be a real crowd pleaser. Shore, despite his shortcoming, is actually quite good when he plays himself. If you're looking for a fun rental for family night, ignore that R rating and pop this in your player. It may surprise you.
The back of the box says "Tons of Bonus Footage". And that's exactly what we get in terms of extra features. Tons of bonus footage. There's nothing here that couldn't have gone back into the movie, and most of it was cut for time. There are a couple of old opening montages that are quite cheap looking and unnecessary. Its scripted baloney. And it's quite easy to see why this stuff got nixed. Aside from that, there are some good solid laughs to be found in this particular stretch of excised film.
The film is presented in the 16:9 (1.78:1) full-screen aspect ratio. In color. The runtime is one hour and twenty minutes. Adopted has been rated R for language (a couple of f*cks, but nothing major. Young children will probably get a kick out of it).
The film is presented in English 5.1 Surround Sound as well as English 2.0 stereo. It is Closed Captioned for the hearing impaired.
Its Pauly Shore holding two crying black babies. Of course this has the potential to be funny. It's the perfect image to sell this film. Though there are also children on the back sleeve, none of the actual kids from the movie are present here. We get two hot chicks in one photo. They're in the movie for a short minute. It's false advertising, but its good enough for me. I like Pauly Shore. This looks like a funny idea. I'll give it a chance. And I will be pleasantly surprised when I get it home and watch it.
THE FINAL WORD
Pauly Shore is good at directing himself in these pseudo-doc*mentaries that truly blur the line between fact and fiction. It's a funny movie with a lot of heart. It's a kid's movie with an adult edge. It's harmless and cute. And definitely worth checking into. Rent it. If you love Shore, definitely buy it. Its his best work in years.