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Checking Out Review

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Jeff Daniels plays a successful advertising man who begins an insomniac, hypochondriac existence when a close friend dies and opens his eyes the possibility of the grim reaper making an early entrance.

★★★★★

Flabby young middle-aged exec. Jeff Daniels' best friend has a heart attack, and so he becomes obsessed with death in this thirtysomething-ish comedy drama directed by David Leland. Never more than mildly amusing, this film suffers from its unconvincing attempts to find the laughs in mortality: it either misses the joke that's laid out on the autopsy table, or else tiptoes around it.

For a half-hour or so, it's pointed and witty, but then its self-satisfied neurosis starts to get on your nerves and the finale, an extended tour of a nightmarish afterlife run by Howard Hughes, is clumpingly unfunny and uninteresting.

Woody Allen it ain't. While we're on the neurotic subject, why not check him out instead of perservering with this.