The D Train Review
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Class reunions can make people do crazy things. They go on diets, try new hairstyles, and tell stories that make their lives sound far more glamorous than they really are—just to impress people they haven’t seen (or even thought about) in years. And in The D Train, one man pulls out all the stops to make his twentieth reunion the best night of his life.

The D Train stars Jack Black as Dan Landsman, a mild-mannered family man who takes his responsibilities as self-appointed head of his reunion committee very seriously. In order to boost attendance—and earn his classmates’ respect—he sets out to convince the most popular guy in their class, James Marsden’s Oliver Lawless, to come to the reunion.

In order to get out to Los Angeles—where Oliver is now the face of a national Banana Boat commercial—Dan sets up a very important but totally fake business trip. But his plans begin spinning wildly out of control when his boss (Jeffrey Tambor) insists on joining him.

  
 
The D Train starts out as a quirky comedy about an unpopular guy’s mission to win the admiration and respect of his peers. As many of us tend to do when faced with an upcoming class reunion, Dan has taken the time to evaluate his own life—and despite the fact that he has a beautiful wife (Kathryn Hahn), a couple of kids, and a stable job, he isn’t Oliver Lawless. He isn’t handsome or fabulous—and he isn’t the face of a national ad campaign. So he decides to fake it.

And that’s where the film takes an awkward turn. The story simply doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Dan’s fake business trip seems entirely unnecessary. His wild night of partying with a guy who probably never spoke to him in high school seems unlikely. And his attempts to be hip feel more tragic than comic.

From there, it all becomes aimless and unfocused. At times, Dan seems obsessed with his former classmate—desperate to impress him and eager to use their new friendship to impress everyone else. At other times, though, he’s so ashamed of his lies and mistakes that he tries to talk Oliver out of coming to the reunion. And the result is a perplexing comedy that isn’t especially funny.

In a way, The D Train is like the typical teen comedy: an ill-conceived quest for popularity that goes horribly wrong. But the fact that it stars a frumpy thirty-something dad instead of a clueless teenager turns what may have been a wacky high school caper into an altogether uncomfortable experience.


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