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Genre Comedy
Year: 2009

Adopted is a Pauly Shore movie. You know... Pauly Shore. You're telling me you don't know who Pauly Shore is? Come on buuuudddy... the weasel, Encino Man, Biodome, Jury Duty, In the Army Now, Son in Law... Pauly Shore is Dead? Okay - well it's not the first time the guy hasn't been recognised and his heyday was in the early '90s with an interesting foray into "life without Pauly" in 2003. He's been primed as one of those guys you either love or hate and there are many haters out there that probably watched Pauly Shore is Dead, thinking it was a documentary.

Well... Adopted is a documentary-turn-mockumentary about the whole celebrity speed adopting practice of harvesting young black kids from Africa. No one batted an eyelid when N!xau was extracted from the Kalahari, and it seems that the Western world seems to think that life is better in America, as seriously documented in God Grew Tired of Us. The ceaseless sympathy for the darkest continent's situation has created a vacuum, in which celebrities feel entitled to spend their money on a personal upliftment project. Sure, the child gets a home in Hollywood Hills etc., but why does the whole process seem as taxing as hand bag shopping? The cash made from the amazing publicity could probably pay for the welfare of 20 kids in the same situation. Pauly Shore has found a niche in the celebrity condition, which warrants some full-focus comedy. Sacha Baron Cohen touched on it with his Gayby African baby, who he swapped for an iPod... but that was only the tip of the icecap on Kilamanjaro.

Shore claims Bruno stole the joke, but takes it to the next level with a 2 week expedition/comedy tour of South Africa to find a suitable child as his son or daughter. He arrives in Cape Town, where he trawls the township streets in search of that special little somebody to take home to L.A. He's single, loves the ladies and would make an excellent parent if he would just quit the stand-up comedy and become a nest cock. Alright, the chances of that happening are pretty slim... and any child adoption agency is going to have a tough time finding reasons why he should have a child. The man's wiles and charms are good enough to secure a trial run with three different kids, who each bring out a different side of his personality. We're dealing with Pauly Shore, the writer, director and stand-up comic... he's not pretending to be someone else, or as they say in the movie business - acting. He's just being the warm, charming and likable guy he is, and trying to be the best funny duddy he can be... daddy.

It was amazing to see how at ease Pauly was with the people on his quest for world baby abomination... adoption. It wasn't naive tourist type behaviour, but that of a man who actually cares about kids. Behind all the tongue-in-cheek comedy was a warmth and sincerity that made the whole film more accessible and enjoyable. The comedy was great with Pauly adding some voice-over narration on his journey... swaying from fish-out-of-water comedy to some humourous American references. The kids were great... and made Pauly's job a lot easier with their fun attitudes - okay mainly Odwa. Pauly was so into loving them and wanting to adopt them already and you almost felt ready to come to terms with Pauly being a dad. The mockumentary also did its bit to cast light on the contentious issue, without debasing it. The comedy, laughs and air of fun wasn't just to entertain... but inform. Adopting a kid is a big deal, whether you're going to Africa or the local orphanage. There are millions of good kids that need a home and its not the sort of decision you can make while on safari.

The production was shot on a limited budget with a 2 week filming window. The team did an amazing job to give the film a good balance of heart, comedy and sly satire. It's a fun jaunt through Cape Town, taking in some of the sights, sounds and yes, even the children. Adopted isn't going to win an Oscar, it's comedy... so it had no chance anyway! Adopted is going to keep you entertained for the 80 minute runtime and leave you with a better impression of Pauly Shore as a "celebrity". Bruno went for the "shockumentary" treatment as a larger-than-life character and Pauly opted for the lighter side of adoption playing himself... both movies have their own style, but almost seem bipolar within the genre. It's great to see a comedian who can actually make a fool of himself and share a laugh... be sure to catch the extra clips after the credits. If you're a Pauly Shore fan... spoil yourself and if you dropped the ball in the early '90s, go and surprise yourself.

The bottom line: Light-hearted.


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