It’s funny how Hollywood works. As long as it makes big bucks, sometimes your worst work will lead to your biggest break. Case in point would be screenwriter Scot Armstrong, a longtime collaborator of director Todd Philips who will now be making his directorial debut thanks to his script for The Hangover Part II bringing in record-breaking box office for a comedy. Armstrong will be stepping into the director’s chair for the first time on Columbia’s Road To Nardo. The film is about a pair of roommates who go to ludicrous lengths (that’s where the laughs come in) to find their friend Nardo who is stranded in Mexico bare ass naked (additional laughs are sure to come from the nudity).
The concept sounds suspiciously similar to The Hangover, which is probably why it’s getting made. Armstrong himself described the film as “Traffic plus Superbad,” and stated that he’s looking to fill the cast out with young up-and-comers and relative unknowns. THR reports that hilarious stand up comic TJ Miller has signed on to play the lead role, finally breaking his streak of playing wacky best friends in movies like She’s Out Of My League. Hit the jump for more info on the upcoming comedy.
Scot Armstrong has been director Todd Philips’ screenwriting partner ever since Road Trip. His work on that and Old School definitely qualifies him as a master of immature character comedy. His only solo writing outing was on the decent, if forgettable Will Ferrell vehicle Semi-Pro, but it’s the collaborations with Philips that really made his name as a screenwriter (let’s forget that he was one of the five people responsible for writing the awful remake of The Heartbreak Kid at the moment). The guy definitely knows how to score laughs out of grown men stuck in a perpetual adolescence, so Road To Nardo sounds like it’s right up his ally. We might be nervous if Armstrong suddenly decided to make a Merchant/Ivory picture as his directorial debut, but as long the movie involves drunken dudes behaving badly, the guy should be just fine.
TJ Miller is set to star and while you might not recognize his name, you would definitely know his face. His biggest role to date was probably as the wisecracking shaky cameraman in Cloverfield and he also scored big laughs as the braindead tattooed rocker in Mike Judge’s Extract. As a stand up and regular guest on the podcast Doug Loves Movies, Miller is friggin’ hilarious and has been in need of a breakout acting role for a while. Comic relief spots in Unstoppable and Yogi Bear (wait, was that supposed to be a comedy?) haven’t gotten the job done yet, but Road To Nardo just might be the big break he’s been waiting for. Miller will play a schlubby n’ slobby fast-talking young man who dedicates his life to gambling, drinking, and of course the ladies. An underachiever, the character will jump into action to help out his naked friend in need, brining his dramatically more responsible roommate along for the ride. No word yet on who will play the roommate, but don’t be surprised if he wears glasses to show that he’s the smart one.
Ok, so Road To Nardo might not sound like Shakespeare, but there’s definitely potential for laughs in that concept and it would be a big career opportunity for both Armstrong and Miller. Hopefully they can pull something hilarious out of this Hangover-lite concept. The market for R-rated comedies is finally thriving again after years of PG-13 filler and it would be nice if a few raunchy successes snuck through the system before that door inevitably slams shut. It’s nice when laughs, gratuitous nudity, and swearing can all come together. You might even say it’s one of the finer combinations in life..