We all know Vince Vaughn as the jokester. A fun-loving actor who, for the most part, plays fun-loving, underdog characters, always bringing a smile to movie-goers faces. But there is a dark side to some of his character work and one of his darkest turns is now available for your viewing pleasure on Netflix.
Domestic Disturbance is a 2001 movie that stars Vince Vaughn as Rick Barnes, husband to Susan (Teri Polo) who has a 12-year-old son Danny (Matt O’Leary). Susan has just come out of a failed marriage to Frank, played by a game John Travolta, and is looking for happiness in her life, which Rick seems to deliver.
Danny, on the other hand, is immediately unhappy with his mother’s decision to remarry. He gets along great with Frank and doesn’t want that relationship to be ruined in any way. After initially disliking Rick, the two find common ground sailing but this is short-lived.
Playing catch with a baseball one day, Rick begins to show his true colors as he berates Danny for his lack of skills, throwing some sharp criticism his way. Things go from bad to worse for Danny when his mother announces that Danny will soon be a brother.
Then Danny stows away in Rick’s car, intent on getting some dirt on him. What he gets is more than he bargained for when Rick stops to meet with a mysterious stranger who had arrived at Rick and Susan’s wedding claiming he was an ex-business partner of Rick’s. This meeting turns violent, and Rick ends up murdering the stranger.
Finally, back home, Danny tells his father, as well as reports it to the police, of the murder. But as Danny has been known to tell the occasional fib, he is only believed by his father for Rick is the pillar of the community.
But Frank believes his son and on his own, does a bit of detecting. Frank finds out about Rick’s criminal past and that Rick’s true identity is that of Jack Parnell, a criminal who ratted on his cohorts in order to stay out of prison. The mysterious stranger, it turns out, was one of those cohorts and was planning revenge on Rick/Jack by ratting him out at the wedding.
At this point, Rick/Jack is prepared to do what it takes to keep his secret, and Danny and Susan are in his crosshairs.
Domestic Disturbance didn’t quite hit it out of the ballpark with critics or audiences. Harold Becker directed the film that many felt didn’t hold enough thrills to be a thriller and was pretty much textbook for “you could see this coming a mile away.” For some unknown reason, the film had a very robust $75 million budget, only bringing home a tad over $54 million at the box office.
Vince Vaughn likes to play against type. For much of his career, Vaughn has played in fun movies – great comedies with mass appeal. He was Beanie in Old School, Peter La Fleur in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Eddie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jeremy Gray in Wedding Crashers, and Billy McMahon in The Internship. But from time to time, Vaughn has stepped outside of his comedy roots to go for the daring.
With Domestic Disturbance, Vaughn enjoys that. But it wasn’t the first time Vince Vaughn went against his norm. In 1998 he took a major Hollywood challenge by playing a character that Anthony Perkins made famous not once or twice, but four times over. Vaughn took on the role of Norman Bates, everyone’s favorite cross-dressing serial killer, in the almost shot-for-shot remake of the Hitchcock classic, Psycho. While the film, labeled by director Gus Van Sant as an “experiment” only broke even at the box office, it showed early on that Vaughn was not opposed to taking dramatic chances.
While comedy rules most of his earlier career, Vince Vaughn lately has taken on more dramatic roles. He appeared in Season 2 of HBO’s hit series True Detective that co-starred Colin Farrell and saw him reteam with his Wedding Crashers co-star Rachel McAdams. Other dramatic roles include Hacksaw Ridge, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Dragged Across Concrete, and Vaughn even went psycho again in the horror-comedy Freaky, playing serial killer The Butcher. Of course, he also played Millie when the two switched bodies.
Of course, all this is fine and dandy but what most fans want to know is if there will be a sequel to one of Vince Vaughn’s biggest hits, Wedding Crashers. The answer is an absolute, almost definite, highly probable, maybe. While it has not been given an official greenlight, the cast, which includes Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Isla Fisher seems to be ready to rock. Fans, who have been waiting since the first Wedding Crashers hit their funny bone in 2005, are most definitely ready.
For now, though, let’s go along with Vince Vaughn against type and give Domestic Disturbance a try. It may be by the book, but it’s fun (sometimes) to watch actor’s step out of their comfort zone. You can find the movie on Netflix.