The Clapper Film Review :
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15 minutes of fame destroys the life of a man who works as a clapper in television.
“The Clapper“, directed by Dito Montiel, is an adaptation of his 2007 novel Eddie Krumble is the Clapper, about a guy who makes a sparse living as a professional “clapper,” those people hired to applaud or ask pre-planned questions in infomercial audiences. In the novel, real-life late night host Jay Leno notices that the same guy is in the audience at all of these different infomercials, so he starts a nationwide quest to discover the man’s identity. The anonymous Eddie becomes a media sensation. It’s a pretty thin premise on which to base a movie (or a novel, for that matter). There’s a critique in there somewhere about innocent humans getting devoured by the celebrity-driven media culture, but “The Clapper” is so poorly done, its tone so lackadaisical and uncommitted, it’s not clear half the time what you’re even watching. If it’s supposed to be a comedy, it’s not funny. If it’s supposed to be a satire, it doesn’t know what it’s satirizing. The biggest problem is that the stakes are never high enough to invest in any of it.
Ed Helms plays Eddie, a guy content with his gig as a “clapper,” traveling to and from the various studio lots with his fellow clapper Chris (Tracy Morgan), and practicing his “spontaneous” questions in the mirror at home. Eddie is not a struggling actor who dreams of being De Niro. He likes the gig as it is. He has a crush on Judy (Amanda Seyfried), who works at a nearby gas station. He visits her there and they share awkward banter through the thick glass screen of her booth. There are no real obstacles for this couple (he likes her, she likes him), and when an obstacle comes it is completely manufactured. Of course, Ed is given a sad backstory, but you never feel like Eddie has come from anywhere. It’s hard to “invest” in a character who doesn’t want much. Judy is given “quirks”—she owns a goat with one horn, for example—but “quirky” doesn’t equal “interesting.”