Jean-Paul Sartre once said that hell is other people. For friends Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt, the endless abyss has a much more specific face: Adam Sandler.
For the last 47 weeks straight, the two New Zealand natives have woken up every Monday morning and subjected themselves to viewings of the Sandler-led ensemble comedy Grown Ups 2. More than mere masochism, the experiment’s served as the basis for a podcast called “The Worst Idea of All Time”, in which the duo spends 30-plus minutes discussing that week’s specific viewing. As the series has developed, the conversations have shifted ever so subtly, from poignant dissections of the film’s merits (or the immense lack thereof) to conversations that primarily involve random existentialist outbursts and manic rambling.
So, just what would drive two otherwise sane, high-functioning adults to undergo such torture? As Batt explains, “We thought of the concept first — of the ludicrousness of watching a single movie and reviewing it over and over again — and then decided on what the movie would be.” After passing on flicks like Con Air (which this writer loves) and The Room, they chose GU2 because “it’s such a weird movie: So many funny people are in it, but it wasn’t very well received.” For those wondering, no, the pair did not view the first Grown Ups film beforehand.
As the longtime friends march closer to their 52nd and final episode — a year of weekly viewings in all — they’re fully aware of the affects that the film’s had on their emotional and mental well-being. According to Montgomery, the film has “given me quite intense mood swings,” adding, “I’ll fluctuate wildly between watching a joke they’ve written, and five minutes later, I’ll be in the pits of despair. We’ve been doing this weird roleplaying where we are the film producers. We maintained character for an hour and then I just snapped.”
Meanwhile, Batt said that he’s found it “impossible to watch what is in the focus of the shot now,” explaining that he can’t “draw [his] attention to what the filmmakers designed me to be looking at. I’m looking at extras, I’m looking at a product that’s been placed on the table. Even if I try now, I can’t look at the main action.”
Because of the long-term duress, Batt has decided “there is no season two” for “The Worst Idea of All Time”, though Montgomery maintained “There’s got to be some sort of podcast.” Catch up on the last 47 episodes by downloading them here; episode No. 48 goes up this Wednesday at 9 a.m. EST. If you’ve never seen the film, enjoy the trailer below.