Yes, if only. If only Observe and Report had gone all the way*, rather than trying to mix a brilliantly uncomfortable story of a delusional, bipolar mall cop (Seth Rogen) with scenes that seemed to exist merely to be outrageous/funny and appeal to the the Rogen/Judd Apatow crowd (Danny McBride as a drug dealer? Again?).
Because O&R really was onto something here. Sure, some of those ridiculous moments are quite funny, but -- as has been mentioned elsewhere -- the film has a less-moody Taxi Driver feel to it, but doesn't completely follow through on it. It didn't have Scorsese/De Niro potential, but it certainly could have existed in a nearby zip code.
Rogen and writer/director Jody Hill portray cop Ronnie Barnhardt's manic-depressive state so subtly (and smartly), it's almost an aside. Really, Ronnie's what happened to that high school outcast who didn't fit into any of those "nerdy" or "artsy" categories. He doesn't think he's a loser. Far from it. So what we have here is a character on the edge, a dreamer without a distinct goal, just someone looking for ... something, whatever it is, that confirms he's as great as he believes.
Which is a scary and intriguing setup, something that could have kept its share of comedic moments while existing in even darker territory, rather than jolting awkwardly between hilarious and frightening.
Which is why O&R falls into the category of "good, not great."
If only ...
BONUS POINTS ... ... for Rogen's performance, which had better earn him consideration for the Golden Globes Best Actor/Musical or Comedy category*.
P_T_D once went to film school, but left because he found the job landscape too bleak. Now he is comfortably employed in the rock of stability known as journalism, and surely shall remain so until the end of time.