Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s New HBO Series: LIFE’S TOO SHORT - On DemandMarch 02, 2012

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s New HBO Series: LIFE’S TOO SHORT - On Demand

HBO

Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: Life's Too Short (HBO).


Life's Too Short
It's not the size that counts

By Jean Tait

 

I love Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I thoroughly enjoyed “Idiot Abroad” and “Extras.” Knowing they were creating a show with similarly snarky dwarf actor, Warwick Davis (WILLOW, HARRY POTTER), and some brilliant famous face cameos, and

 

I knew I’d be getting deadpan Brit humor

at its best!


“Life’s Too Short” is a mockumentary a la “The Office,” and the subject matter is perfect for the genre. Answering the question, “What’s it like to be a (sort of) famous little person?” “Life’s Too Short” follows the day-to-day life and career of Warwick Davis. In order to push the humor, they downplay his most recent accomplishments in the dual roles of Griphook and Professor Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter movies, to create the impression that he is now down on his luck since his success in the 1980’s of WILLOW and STAR WARS.

 


Ricky Gervais, Warwick Davis / LIFE'S TOO SHORT (HBO)



This Warwick Davis is a pint-size actor with enough ego and bombast for a Hulk-sized ham. His need for cash (he’s in the midst of a nasty divorce AND he owes back taxes) forces him to get into a number of uncomfortable situations, including being hired so Johnny Depp can observe him as a character study, and acting as a stand-in for a child actor playing opposite Helena Bonham Carter. Depp and Carter are fantastic, as they play “themselves.” Watching Depp meet up with Ricky Gervais (who famously dissed him at the 2011 Golden Globes) is pee-funny! Helena Bonham Carter is an hysterical mess as her discomfort with Davis gets harder and harder for her to hide in each successive take. The crew working to indulge her neuroses ends up putting Davis in a trash bin.

 


Ricky Gervais, Warwick Davis, Stephen Merchant / LIFE'S TOO SHORT (HBO)

In another episode, Liam Neeson tries to do comic improv with Gervais, but fails spectacularly. He insists on playing someone with AIDs, and every time Gervais and Merchant try to gently steer him into something less serious, he just keeps dragging it back there.

You can tell these stars are delighted to poke some holes in their reputations as Serious Actors.

The not so famous faces are quite funny, too, especially Rosamund Hanson as his dim bulb, blonde secretary. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but then it’s a stereotype that little people are funny, and in this show, they play the stereotypes for laughs at 110%!

 

DEMAND IT

 

- Jean Tait

 

Jean
Jean Tait is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. Currently the Director of Programming for the Connecticut Film Festival, Jean has programmed for the Jacksonville Film Festival and Sundance Channel.
 

Life Is Too Short (HBO) is now on demand.

 

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