A few weeks ago, I caught a free showing of "Vancouvria" at the Kiggins Theatre as part of an Art on the Boulevard event. After squirming through six episodes of Portland filmmaker Brighton West's 'Couv spoof, I could only generate a few wry smiles and a possible chuckle.
While the TV series "Portlandia" lampoons Stumptown's hipper-than-thou crowd, there's still a tone of fondness.
Sure, the characters are hopelessly woo-woo. But there's a sense that they're motivated by noble intentions, cranked up to 11 on the humor amplifier.
"Vancouvria" is mean-spirited. The hyperpatriotic borderline bigots over here fuel their families on a steady diet of Big Macs and Bloomin' Onions and hate Obama. We all drive gas-guzzling SUVs and revel in spewing poisonous exhaust fumes. "Vancouvria" feels like a snide Portland hipster (West?) scolding the sullen masses who dare to oppose footing their fair share of someone's high-concept iconic Columbia River Crossing.
The jokes were badly crafted, the punch lines half-baked, and the situations reeked of cheap-shot cologne.
Vancouver is fair game for satire and even ridicule. But simply trotting out ugly stereotypes is not the stuff of belly laughs.