All jokes about his performance in The Happening notwithstanding, Mark Wahlberg proved his honest-to-God comedic skills simply by playing the (relatively) straight man to Will Ferrell in The Other Guys. (A movie that, I will add, only gets better and better with subsequent rewatches.) Yeah, I find it nearly impossible to determine how or why anyone thinks Ted could work, but at least he gets what’s easily the funniest bit in that preview. And have we forgotten some of the humorous beats in I Heart Huckabees, The Departed, and The Fighter, while we’re at it?
So, with that established, you can probably get my relative optimism when it comes to Avon Man. Deadline reports that Wahlberg has agreed to produce (and will, presumably, star) in the comedy for 20th Century Fox. Once intended for Hugh Jackman and director Kevin Lima (Enchanted), the film — scripted by Kevin Bisch (Hitch) and soon to be rewritten by Michael McCullers (Baby Mama) — follows a man who, upon losing his job as a car salesman, decides to find a new line of work by going door-to-door, selling Avon products. (Wow, the ancillary marketing team just had its job completed.) Though there’s some initial embarrassment over the job, he soon becomes a favorite employee, even using his friends to win a regional contest that can “save his town and help his struggling family.”
A bit of a sitcom-y premise, but a) you could say that about the setup for some of the finest comedies of all time, and b) it comes down to what’s put on the page. Before we know anything else, my aforementioned affinity for Wahlberg‘s brief comedic work will help keep Avon Man in a positive light.
How do you take Avon Man this early on? Is Wahlberg a suitable choice for the lead role?