Living the Really Good Life
Absurd but fun: Big screen Entourage expands Hollywood fantasy of HBO series
The main goal of Entourage, which aired on HBO from 2004-2011 and has now been made into a film, is wish-fulfillment fantasy. The exploits of Vince (Adrian Grenier), E (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) are so far removed from reality — even by Hollywood standards — that they might as well be taking place in another universe.
All of which is to say that making a critical analysis of their leap to the big screen is an act of sheer folly. The stories that series creator Doug Ellin, who wrote and directed the film, tells are the epitome of ridiculous, so saying that they don’t make sense is like saying the sky is blue.
That doesn’t mean that there’s not fun to be had in watching the movie. Who wouldn’t want to put themselves in the shoes of Vince, who in the film shrugs off professional and romantic failures to direct and star in a $100 million Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde update and date Emily Ratajkowski? Or E, Vince’s manager, who is expecting a child with one beautiful woman, Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and has sex with multiple other beautiful women?
Or Turtle, who is living high on the hog after hitting it rich with the Avion tequila deal from the series, leaving him plenty of time to hang with his friends and pursue MMA fighter Ronda Rousey, with whom he just happens to have a history. Or even Drama, who lives in Vince’s shadow, but may be on the verge of breaking out thanks to Vince’s casting him in a key role in Hyde.
Ellin knows that there’s little point in showing us the minutiae of how Vince and company succeed professionally, so he skips over the entire making of Hyde in favor of innumerable celebrity cameos and a mostly pointless side story involving Texas financiers (Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment), who threaten to hold back Vince’s latest blockbuster.
Lip service is paid to the rest of the series regulars, including Ari (Jeremy Piven), who, as usual, is there to do Vince’s bidding and get angry; Lloyd (Rex Lee), who’s set to get married to a gay celebrity; and Shauna (Debi Mazar), who literally has nothing to do but is present because, well, why the hell not?
If you loved the HBO series, there’s nothing in the Entourage movie that will disappoint; it’s more of the same, just played out to feature length. If you’re not a fan, you’re probably better off watching Mad Max again.