The dreadfully boring “The Clapper” is a pathetic attempt at a quirky romantic comedy. The film is the adaptation of writer and director Dito Montiel’s 2007 novel Eddie Krumble is the Clapper, a story of a less than ambitious man who makes a living as a professional infomercial audience member. This thin premise lacks any compelling elements, is absent of any engaging characters, and eventually goes nowhere.
Eddie (Ed Helms) and his best friend Chris (Tracy Morgan) work as television “clappers,” mediocre actors hired to applaud, ask leading questions on cue, and fill seats in a studio audience. When a popular talk show host (Russell Peters) notices Eddie on t.v., he launches a citywide campaign to uncover the man’s true identity. A media circus ensues as Eddie rejects his newfound 15 minutes of fame, preferring to spend his time romancing local gas station attendant Judy (Amanda Seyfried).
The film feels as awkward as its uninteresting characters, an unenthusiastic mess that’s charm-free and devoid of any laughs. The performances are bland and create a gaping emotional disconnect. The story is anemic, lacking in any sort of interesting elements, and it eventually goes nowhere. Although the script is thin, there’s enough source material that could’ve been turned into a crackerjack movie satirizing today’s insta-famous culture and the burdens of unwanted celebrity. What a pity that was completely wasted on this listless stinker.
This is one of the worst movies of 2018 (and of any year, for that matter). The kicker is that Brian Wilson’s song “Love and Mercy” plays a major role in the film, a tune with these lyrics in the opening line: ‘I was sitting in a crummy movie with my hands on my chin.’
Talk about foreshadowing.