The boys are back in the HBO series’ first feature which serves as its finale in the adventures of the movie star and his posse. Manager Ari Gold is now a studio executive who can green light films and Vince has an itch to direct and star in his first feature.
They must win over a no nonsense Texan financier (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son (Haley Joel Osment) in order to finish the film that has gone over budget. The boys have girl troubles and that is about the sum of things plot-wise. Beyond is a wash of sun, wealth and camaraderie for these princes of Hollywood.
This is one of the most relentlessly sexist films I’ve ever seen. Its objectification of women is beyond the pale, the men are piggish and proud of it. As charming and funny and devoted as they are to one another, it’s an ugly picture of what the writer think people want from fame in a sad “is that all there is” defeatism. Is it really about giant boats, huge, echoing homes and booty 24/7? This American Dream is a deep as a slick of sunscreen.
Vince and his boys are chipper enough which makes sense. He hauled himself up from Jersey to the exalted plane of celebrity, boys in tow. They needn’t take responsibility for anything because money and fame fixes everything. Maybe not if one of you’re E and one of your many girlfriends announces she’s pregnant and another that she has herpes. But naturally he is released from that responsibility as well.
Osment’s one of only two compelling characters in the entire film, an obnoxious aggressive and sly rich kid guarding his father’s (Thornton) investment in Vince’ movie. He’s cunning but he doesn’t pretend he isn’t and Osment has some chops. He gives a defined portrayal as he outwits Ari – for a while, and he’s capable to doing dire things to settle a personal score.
Ari is the most powerful and the most domesticated of the bunch. He’s in love with his wife and is still attracted to her and tries to be a good father. He’s smart, strategic and interesting to watch. Piven says his work on the PBS hit Mr. Selfridge as an Edwardian era American charming the socks off the staid and repressed British informed and changed his work as Ari. I don’t see it, but Piven has presence and grounds the film.
Loads of fun cameos include Liam Neeson flipping Ari off convertible to convertible, Mark Wahlberg and his entourage, Mike Tyson, Pharrell, Bob Saget and an hysterically funny Gary Busey explaining his philosophy while trying desperately to hold it together.
But where do they get this sea of women to stand around naked at parties and on boats? Are these aspiring actresses? Do they get work based on these gigs consisting of docile, seductive smiles, swaying bodies and clutching wine? The film works as a stand-alone – albeit a weak stand alone. Familiarity with the HBO series isn’t a requirement if you really want to watch a bunch of spoiled peacocks strutting around LA. Trapped in a hopelessly dated chauvinist past, Entourage is seriously disappointing.
Written and directed by Doug Ellin
Starring Jeremy Piven, Adrien Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Haley Joel Osment and Billy Bob Thornton
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