Jacob Aaron Estes
I'm always down for a good black comedy but THE DETAILS isn't it. On the surface it has all the elements you'd want—a talented cast, an appropriately dark mood and satiric tone but it doesn't execute that well on the laughs or the drama.
The primary conceit is a decent one, looking at the small, uneventful minutiae that make up any monumental event in our lives. However, that concept is really just a surface distraction that makes for good narration but doesn't really factor in to the story. Instead, THE DETAILS just focuses on your typical tale of bad people doing bad things. The problem is that the characters aren't likeable at all. Even in the darkest comedies like VERY BAD THINGS or FARGO, there's always someone you can connect with. Here, Tobey Maguire sleepwalks through the role too much to be interesting. I intrinsically like Elizabeth Banks but she doesn't factor in to the story enough to matter. Laura Linney (the only one who's really doing any acting) is a bit too out there as the off-the-wall neighbor. And Ray Liotta is probably the only sensible character in the whole film, but ironically it doesn't know what to do with him.
A funny script could make up for those shortcomings, but THE DETAILS falls short there too. It's just not that funny. It's never bad per se and even amusing while you're watching it, but not one moment really stuck with me after the film finished—never a good sign with a comedy.
With a decent cast, THE DETAILS had potential as a black comedy, but unfortunately forgot the funny amidst all the darkness.
Extra Tidbit: I did get a kick out of the fact that Spider-Man was married to Betty Brant in this movie.