‘Go West’ Finds the Funny in Western Tropes (Even Dysentery!)

Studio C reunites for silly, subversive romp across the American west

Potty humor is often a sign of lazy writing.

Need a quick, easy laugh? You know where to find it … in the nearest bathroom stall.

Tell that to the Studio C alums behind “Go West.” The comic troupe is at its nimble best when turning jokes about no. 2 into something sublime. Who knew dysentery could be laugh-out-loud funny?

The group’s first feature-length film has its flaws, but the script is relentlessly witty and the cast plays multiple roles in the grand Monty Python tradition. No one is in drag, although one male character wears high-heel boots and the villainess boasts a man’s name.

Best of all? It’s all squeaky clean. Even the most outrageous potty gags are fit for the whole family.

Go West | Official Theatrical Movie Trailer | JK! Studios (2023)

Perennially widowed Aveline (Natalie Madsen) decides to, all together, go west when she learns her teen daughter is about to marry a scoundrel. She teams with a kindly man named Elijah (Stephen Meek) and her dying sister Cora (Everton), not realizing the hardships they’ll face along the way.

That includes a vengeful shopkeep named Robert (Whitney Call) and wacky characters played by the 10-member cast.

Narrated by a game Sean Astin, “Go West” puts too much faith in some running gags. Others land the first time and never let up. Blame Everton’s Cora for making the most of her character’s one-disgusting note.

She’s on death door from dysentery, and between coughing up blood and flirting with Elijah she crushes every scene she’s in. Her comic timing packs Swiss-like precision.

It’s not easy to use a terminal illness as a punchline, but “Go West’s” comic tone is so frothy, so inoffensive that it can get away with almost anything … even a torture sequence that doubles as a killer flatulence bit.

The film, assembled from a patchwork of comic skits, shows its roots early and often. There’s little story momentum to speak of, and some of the gags land with a cringe-worthy thud. That teased Aveline/Elijah romance needs a bit more meat on its bone, too.

Go West (July 2023) Official Movie Clip 'Skipping Rocks' - Sean Astin, Mallory Everton, Stephen Meek

The story may be set in the 1800s, but the screenplay injects 21st-century tropes for comic effect. It works nearly every time, and the film could use even more of these anachronistic smart bombs.

The production design is modest but effective, proving a smart comedy doesn’t have to break the bank to get the job done.

“Go West” embraces the “Airplane!” approach to comedy. Keep throwing punch lines and sight gags at the audience and, by golly, some will undoubtedly stick.

That they do, and in enough quantities that you’ll grin from start to finish.

HiT or Miss: “Go West’s” plotless narrative wears thin, but it’s consistently clever and clean as the proverbial whistle.


  1. Movie was very very funny. I almost passed out I was laughing so hard in a few spots. Highly recommended for any Studio C fan!

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