Review Date: April 29, 2004
Director: Barry Levinson
Writer: Steve Adams
Producers: Barry Levinson, Paula Weinstein
Our entire audience was waiting to crack up but they just waited, waited and waited some more, until some started to walk out and others started thinking about how they would start their reviews an hour or so after the movie with the line "I'd been hearing about how 'bad' this movie was since early last year..." Sadder still is the fact that the film's premise is actually quite ripe for comedy (rent a much funner, cooler version of a "dink getting rich" in BREWSTER'S MILLIONS). Unlike Stiller's other "paycheck" flick from last year, DUPLEX, this one doesn't even feature a bunch of goofy attempts at payback-- there's basically one bit of nastiness here and that's about it. The characters are too sympathetic, the situation isn't blown out of proportion enough and you never really feel like there's any real conflict (which generally leads to good comedy). It doesn't help that Levinson tries to stretch the film with shots of airplanes flying through the sky, a montage here and there, and even an extremely lame song called "Envy" (c'mon!!) that keeps playing throughout the film (with passing commentary) Gimme a break. And what was with the slapstick fast-speed during a couple of scenes? I guess the man was trying anything by that point. Ultimately though, the movie is just "there", it just sits there like -- yeah, I'm gonna say it -- a piece of shit and unlike the supposed incredible invention from the film, I couldn't spray anything to make it go away. Instead, I sat, I watched, I walked out, I had a few drinks at a local drinking hole and I returned home to let you know to avoid doing the same. Do not envy me, folks...I had to sit through this shite.