Why are we here? What is the meaning of existence? Over the millennia, some of the world's greatest thinkers have speculated on life's biggest mysteries, looking for nothing less than an answer to the ultimate question to life, the universe and everything.
Dummies. All they had to do was ask Jack Black.
"It's a comedy that takes place in biblical times," Michael Cera said of the new Harold Ramis/ Judd Apatow movie "Year One," which he co-stars in alongside Black. "Jack's the main guy. I play a character named O, and he plays one called Zed, and I'm kind of his friend in it and tagging along, and he's kind of looking for some kind of meaning for his life."
Call it the "Gospel According to Harold and Judd," two of comedy's funniest talents working together for the first time — well, not taking into account Ramis' role as Ben's dad in "Knocked Up."
"Harold Ramis is one of my heroes, and Judd Apatow is producing it, so [c'mon,] I think it will be funny," Cera deadpanned.
"I'm very excited to work with those guys," Black echoed.
But viewers expecting a buddy comedy along the lines of "Ghostbusters" or "Knocked Up" should revise their expectations, said Black, calling the style of the film much more along the lines of "those old 'Monty Python' movies."
"It's not prehistoric, it's just pre-Christ. It's like an old, biblical tale. Cane and Abel type of stuff. Just two dudes wandering through early civilization," Black explained. "It's kind of like 'The Meaning of Life' or 'Life of Brian' — a funny look at biblical tales."
"A lot of the humor comes from that — the fact that it's an adventure," Cera added. "We're walking across these mountains, and I think it's gonna look really cool. Hopefully it'll be kind of epic."
For the record, those mountains are the hills of Louisiana, where Cera and Black will begin filming the movie in January. But if they're going to scale the highest peaks, at least they won't have to do it alone, Cera revealed.
"I get the feeling that Judd's really loyal to people — all the people from 'Freaks and Geeks' he's kind of put in his movies now [and] kind of had some new success," Cera enthused. "I don't know if anyone else is cast yet. It's still kind of far away, [but] I'm sure, someone will do it for Judd. I think Jonah [Hill] will do a part if he's around, and I think David Cross is gonna be in it, and he's really funny."
Forget funny. What exactly is the great answer Jack and Michael find? In short, what is the meaning of life?
"It's so hard to ... " Cera hesitated, haltingly, before looking up with a coy smile. "I wouldn't do a good job [describing] it I guess."
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