Adapted from Dimitri Verhulst’s semi-autobiographical novel with a flair that recalls the squalor-and-dazzle visuals of “Trainspotting,” Felix Van Groeningen’s highly entertaining tale is full of hilarity, horror and heartbreak (sometimes within the same scene).
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Deftly mixing the visual exuberance of “Trainspotting” with the familial pathos of “Angela’s Ashes,” the gifted van Groeningen offers gleeful depictions of drinking contests and naked bicycle races that gradually give way to a sense of moral peril for young Gunther.
The title of The Misfortunates really applies to any audiences unlucky enough to sit through it.
They drink at the pub, they drink at home. They drink until they pass out and then, after they have had a good vomit, they drink again. If that sounds too disgusting to watch, it almost is.
There's whimsy and raunchy humor here, but also an underlying sense of darkness and despair.
The acting is super -- these guys know how to be sweet and disgusting -- and the story provides its share of laughs. But after a while, the one-note movie, directed by Felix van Groeningen, grows tiresome.