'D Train' Trailer Subverts The Buddy Comedy Genre

by Keertana Sastry

James Marsden. Jack Black. A high school reunion. Seems like the perfect Hangover or Old School-type laugh fest, right? Well, there's so much more than meets the eye in the new dark comedy The D Train, based on the trailer. The film, directed by veteran screenwriters but debut directors Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, originally premiered at Sundance Film Festival and features Jack Black playing a darker comedy role similar to his work in the underrated film Bernie. The story follows Black's Dan Landsman who is organizing his 20-year high school reunion and desperately trying to be more popular and respected than he was in school. The best way to get attendance for the reunion? Find Oliver Lawless (Marsden), the most popular guy in his graduating class who also happens to be in a national commercial, and in Dan's eyes, is a successful working actor in LA.

The film features a surprise twist according to early reviews, but honestly from the trailer alone, I'm already on board for this strange adventure.

The trailer features quite the entrance for James Marsden's Oliver to enter Dan's life, his commercial for Banana Boat features him playing up the hunky lifeguard angle in serious, Baywatch-esque situations, it's actually pretty hilarious. But it impresses Dan enough to fly to LA and convince Oliver to attend the reunion and eventually the two hit it off at first.

So, why should we be excited for this movie? Well, the trailer gives us quite a few reasons. Example one: As stated above, any opportunity to see James Marsden, shirtless, running down a beach and being a hunky hero is enough for me. Seriously, look at this man. I know this is probably a parody of countless commercials, but look at him!

Then there's of course, the draw of watching Jack Black and James Marsden partying together and doing all kinds of wild nonsense. Apparently Black's Dan is quite the uptight, neurotic man and partying with Oliver brings on a change in him. At first he's more open to the loose, social life ways.

But then something major happens — which I won't reveal for the sake of keeping it a surprise when it comes up in the trailer — and this abrupt shift takes over the rest of the film and trailer.

I'm dying to know what happens and how it evolves the story. Dan's wife (played by the always amazing Kathryn Hahn) summarizes my need to know and the change in Dan perfectly: "You're obsessed with Oliver? What is going on with you?"

Hopefully we find out soon enough and the story gives us some difficult, darkly real situations to appreciate within the comedy when the film comes out this May.

Images: Sundance Institute; YouTube (4)