Red Meat, Milk, Rap Stars, Over Actors – what do these things have in common? A use by date. Warren Beatty’s use by date ran out several decades ago yet the stench has grown so much people are afraid to get near it.
The same goes for this project – at an almost titanic $100 million or so budget (enough to make 8 or 9 Freddie Prinze Jr teen comedies), this very cheap to make looking and unfunny comedy is like a teen sex romp for the 50+ crowd – the difference being that teen sex comedies at least have nudity and one or two good laughs.
Here the characters are like those in a bad Woody Allen movie, but without charm, eccentricity or intelligence. The problem isn’t that its bad, its much worse – its boring. Its comedy by committee – an ordinary sitcom without a laugh track and too many writers with differing ideas that in the end all the good gags are removed.
Indeed, even this film’s trailer had one or two laughs but the same scenes within the movie have been re-edited or reshot in completely different ways (eg. the Hawn/Shandling divorce lawyer meeting). Its hard to point a finger at anyone but Beatty.
Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn will survive this, Shandling still needs to make a movie breakthrough, Elfman is a ditz anyhow so no change, McDowell still looks great but should pick her projects better, and Josh Hartnett won’t care. This much star power and even the concept could’ve yielded an intelligent and witty comedy – what we’ve got is neither smart or funny, just innocuous.