Radio's angry man unveils sensitive side in film

Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:34pm EDT
 
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Even the world's angriest man has a tender side.

Los Angeles-based syndicated radio humorist Adam Carolla, blessed with an uncanny ability to fault everything from first-class air travel to lazy Americans during a broadcast career spanning more than a dozen years, is branching out into romantic comedy with his first big film.

"The Hammer," which opens in about 10 markets on Friday, is the semi-autobiographical tale of an underachieving construction worker, played by Carolla.

Think Bart Simpson at 40. He returns to the one thing he was good at, amateur boxing, and ends up competing in the Olympic trials. Along the way, he snags a classy girlfriend who is charmed by his mordant wit and doesn't even seem to mind that he has no money.

There aren't too many complications in the fast-paced 90-minute story, which was based on an idea by Carolla and fleshed out by his friend, TV writer Kevin Hench. But critics have warmed to the low-budget film, comparing it favorably to another underdog boxing tale, "Rocky."

BITTER BUFFOON

Hollywood largely ignored Carolla's project every step of the way over the last four years. Executives either doubted his ability to act, or their ability to market the "difficult" movie. Carolla is angry again.

"People look at me as a misogynistic, ogreish buffoon who goes through life bitter and spewing venom and so on," Carolla, 43, recalled in a recent interview with Reuters.   Continued...

 
<p>Radio host Adam Carolla takes off his head phones during a commercial break during the Adam Carolla morning radio show at KLSX studios in Los Angeles, California, August 8, 2006. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>