Tim (Stiller) becomes jealous of his best friend Nick (Black) following the latter's million-dollar success with a get-rich-quick scheme that Tim had scoffed at. Tim's escalating envy soon leads to disaster, while a chance encounter with oddball drifer J-
Apparently this 'comedy' (a word used with caution) was gathering dust on a shelf until the success of Jack Black's School Of Rock inspired someone to release it on an unsuspecting public.
The teaming of Black and Ben Stiller with Christopher Walken thrown in for good measure suggests a winner. Likewise, the central conceit of Nick's fortune having come from inventing a product called Vapoorize a dog-faeces-deleting spray could have been (admittedly gross) comic gold in the hands of the Farrelly brothers, or even Stiller himself. Unfortunately, director Barry Levinson is the wrong man for the job. Black is reined in when he should be allowed to be manic as the slacker-turned-bad-taste millionaire, while Stiller is uncomfortable as an uptight everyman.
Potentially funny scenes involving an out-of-control carousel, a dead horse and its disposal and the increasingly odd appearances of Walken are all bungled and raise fewer laughs than a funeral procession, while the recurring, "Where does the shit go?" question asked by enviromental protestors of Nick's invention can surely be answered with the words, "Into the script."
Featuring two of America's most successful comic actors, you'd think it'd be hilarious. Think again.