Pop Rocks: The Entourage Movie -- HBO's Answer to a Question No One Asked

Categories: Pop Rocks

entourage0131.jpg
On your mark, get set, bro.
Somebody out there is probably excited about this news, I just can't imagine who.

Warner Bros. has given the green light to a movie version of the hit HBO show that ran from 2004-2011.

On Tuesday night, "Entourage" main actor Adrian Grenier tweeted the exciting news, writing "It's on!" with a cast photo from the show and the words "green lit!"

The big screen reprise for hotshot actor Vincent Chase, played by Grenier, and his gang will be directed by "Entourage" series creator Doug Ellin, according to Deadline.com.

Deals to bring back all of the principal cast, including Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven, are reportedly starting to be negotiated.

And I'm sure those will be some tough negotiations, seeing as how none of the principals have done anything of consequence since the show ended (not to take away from Piven's career-defining turn as "Black Bellamy" in The Pirates! Band of Misfits).

Seriously, eight seasons? That's two more than Dream On, which ranks right alongside Entourage as the longest-running HBO original series nobody actually admits to watching. And now we get a movie, because God knows there aren't enough options for meatheads in the cinema these days.

I confess to some complicity in perpetuating this. I watched the first two (or was it three? Who can tell?) seasons of the show, lulled into complacency by that tantalizing weekly glimpse into the life of a Hollywood A-lister, sprinkled liberally with bikini models and cool cars. There was a certain comfort to be found in knowing Vincent (Adrian Grenier) would always come through, that Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) would be there to dispense questionable advice, and Ari (Jeremy Piven) could be counted on for at least one epic freakout per episode.

But unlike other shows, Entourage somehow managed to exist for eight seasons without advancing its characters in any meaningful way whatsoever. Catching up with the final season, it was still hard to tell if I was watching a new episode or a repeat from season two. Only the occasional Aquaman or Five Towns reference would help me place the events in some kind of context. It seemed ideally suited to becomes one of those shows that ends up playing in the background as you wonder why the hell you've got the TV on when you're barely paying attention to it.

Red plot herrings were thrown at the audience -- will Vince return from Mexico? Will "E" somehow make it work with Sloan? Would Ari and Mrs. Ari get back together?-- but no real change ever takes place. Financial storms are weathered, legal problems are smoothed over, and the gang always comes out on top. It's like the anti-Seinfeld in that sense, except Entourage is also ultimately a show about nothing.

If reports are correct, the motion picture picks up six months after the end of season eight (Vince and Sophia are presumably married, while Ari may or may not be CEO of Time Warner). In spite of the literally tens of directions this story could go, it's hard to imagine we'll see anything new when the film finally gets made. Sex and the City, the show Entourage was most often compared to, made the leap to big screen and in the course of two short films destroyed whatever goodwill remained for those four self-absorbed hags. I can't imagine writer (and series creator) Doug Ellin is going to drop what's been to this point a pretty lucrative formula.

Entourage worked, to the extent that it did, because it was still able to sell the idea that these were four lifelong bros who stuck together through thick and (less and less often as the show progressed) thin. With a rumored European setting, it sounds like this will be less about guys weathering the tough times (fun fact: the amount of stress a character is going through can be measured by the amount of facial hair they're sporting) and simply an excuse to have Vince bang Belgian supermodels and Johnny Drama embarrass himself by aggressively speaking English to Parisians.

Are we really prepared to put Grenier on the big screen and expose what viewers of the show have known for years: i.e. that he's simply not believable as a perpetually in-demand A-lister? His last non-HBO role of note in the last ten years was Anne Hathaway's easily forgettable boyfriend in The Devil Wears Prada. This just proves what I've been saying for years: only on pay cable could someone with unwaxed eyebrows be a move star.

But the inexplicable goodwill surrounding the show will probably lead to, at the very least, modest box office success. Certainly not Aquaman numbers, but maybe enough to keep everyone happy.

Even Piven. He was pretty good.



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