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Sour Grapes Review

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★★★★★

As the co-creator of TV's Seinfeld (the show, not the man) writer and debutante director Larry David knows a thing or two about taking the incidental and extrapolating it for comic effect. Seinfeld was a show about small everyday events spinning off on increasingly farcical tangents and David tries the same thing here, to considerably lesser effect.

Brain surgeon Evan (Weber) and sneaker sole designer Richie (Bierko) are cousins and lifelong best friends. Until that is, they take a trip to Atlantic City and Evan lends Richie his last two quarters to play the slots, and Richie walks away with $436,000 and change. Evan thinks he's entitled to half, Richie thinks he isn't. Cue a bitterly comic falling out that results in not only the loss of their friendship, but the potential death of Richie's mom, a house invasion, and an inadvertent castration of a popular TV hunk.

There are some decent laughs to be had - Richie's attempt at quitting his job which gets caught up in polite non sequiturs, the castrato performance of TV superstar Danny Pepper (Keeslar), who appears in a show called Guys And Gals, a neat parody of Friends (not coincidentally Seinfeld's main competition on US TV). Sadly though, David pitches the majority of his script and the performances he draws from his cast at basic sitcom level, never escaping the fact that most of them seem to be waiting for the canned laughter. (Only Bierko, who employs a touch of the Jim Carreys, raises the energy level.) Similarly, David seems reluctant to make his humour too black when that is exactly what the film cries out for.