Movie Review: Paint
Paint, directed by Brit McAdams, is a biopic that centers around a PBS host named Carl Nargle (played by Owen Wilson), who is clearly a fictionalized version of the iconic painter Bob Ross. The film follows a typical rise and fall structure, with a love interest named Katherine (Michaela Watkins) lingering in the background. However, Paint fails to find a sufficient hook to justify its feature-length runtime and would have been better suited as a Saturday Night Live sketch.
One of the main issues with the film is that its protagonist, Carl, is just not very likable. Despite having a certain charm, he is self-absorbed, misogynistic, and treats those around him with zero respect. As a result, it’s hard to root for him, even when his career starts to suffer at the hands of his rival, Ambrosia (Ciara Renée).
Furthermore, the movie relies too heavily on repetitive running gags, like Carl’s big perm, ’70s van, quiet demeanor, and sandals. It’s the kind of comedy that hopes to force viewers into laughing through sheer force of will, but instead, it becomes tedious and unfunny. Paint’s best moments come when it pushes through this bland repetition and gets completely ridiculous, such as when Ambrosia paints disturbing sci-fi scenes that upset viewers.
In the end, Paint is not ridiculous enough to be funny and not charming enough to make you invested in what happens. It’s a disappointing attempt at spoofing Bob Ross, whose distinct and goofy persona has become a staple of internet kitsch. Luckily, there are plenty of other places in the world to experience the joy of Bob Ross.