Kevin Nealon & A Brand New Life

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KEVIN NEALON & A BRAND NEW LIFE

 

     A guy writes a book from his own perspective during his wife’s pregnancy, while a young girl is given away to an orphanage.

     I used to think adopting was the way to go.  I love kids, but I don’t think the world needs more of them.  There are lots of children.  I never understood paying though.  I mean, I’m taking the kid.  You should pay me!  I could have one for free.  I guess I can grow tomatoes for free or buy them.   I’m talking myself out of my own point, while A Brand New Life is making me think that adoption is horrible.

     Dana Carvey said, hey man, I can’t do this Pump You Up stuff alone.  You need this guy Kevin Nealon.  He’s tall and super calm.  He’s been on Carson.  These aren’t exact quotes, but a nine year career was born.

     Ounie Lecomte’s personal project really captured me.  It’s about her real experiences being given away to an orphanage and adopted abroad like many Korean children.  The camera is always on the level of the heartbreakingly fragile Jin-hee (Kim Sae-ron).  This isn’t a film about anything except her confusion and pain over being given away by her thoughtless father (a cameo by Sol Kyung-gu).   

     Yes, you’re pregnant, but what about me?  This is the question asked by Kevin Nealon.  He decided to write a book, rarely written.  The thoughts of a man as his wife is pregnant.  As women read and obsess about their upcoming pregnancy, most men do not.  Nothing is happening to them.  They are busy getting a second job or running away and then impregnating someone else like a human dog.  Kevin is a pretty different guy, a very unique comic.  He’s serene like a Hawaiian breeze.  He’s done his stand up laying down.  That’s relaxed!  It’s probably all the subliminal messages that make me like KOREAN FILMS his act so much.

     Adopting a baby must be much different than a nine-year old girl, but that was my plan when I was younger.  I considered how great it would be to know the human I was buying.  I want the one with the glasses and the book!  There are some girls at the orphanage that are well versed in English and are totally selling themselves, but people want Jin-hee.  She’s adorable.  She’s the one you can’t have.  Of course not, her father is coming back.  This is just a vacation.  The original title of the film is Traveler.  I don’t know how a child deals with abandonment issues.  Even when new parents are wonderful, you still must wonder who gave you away and why.  To start again would be too much.

     In the mid-80’s Kevin Nealon made is way to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  He still calls this one of the (if not the) proudest moments of his career that goes on to this day.  On the show he’s a bit speedier, the energy of youth and probably the stress of being on the famous talk show.  There is a point where he’s telling a story and has a map.  The map isn’t the correct map though.  The act becomes some of the most intellectual prop comedy I’ve ever seen as he folds the map a bit and it instantly becomes the shape of Nevada.  The comedy of Kevin Nealon is a bit off, but that is always a positive factor for me.  Off is my on.

     The success of Brand New Life abroad will be helped considering the short length of the film.  It’s rare to even find a less than two hour comedy, let alone a drama.  Ounie is a woman of two worlds and they collide well.  Her decisions, though personally driven, are thoughtful and pull you in well.  Though as Jin-hee makes a friend and starts to adapt you know by the end, with her foreign adoption, that there will always be a small hole in her heart.

     I enjoyed Kevin Nealon’s book.  It’s good to hear a male’s voice, a male who not only wanted to have a child, but planned it out.  Everything in his life seems rather thoughtful.  When he sucker punches you in comedy you smile.  He’s hitting you in the head and not the kidney.