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Sour Grapes

Starring Steven Weber and Craig Bierko
Written and Directed by Larry David

IN SHORT: "Sour" is definitely the word for it

Cranky is going to take the liberty of expressing his opinions as an MOT, a "Member of the Tribe" for those of you not familiar with the new slang; If Larry David wanted to make a movie in which so much of the humor is based on Jewish stereotype, he should have just gone ahead and cast Jews in the movie. If he wanted to make those stereotypes universal, he shouldn't have populated the supporting character cast with 'em.

That's not the main problem with Sour Grapes, 'cuz I'm sure the mixed metaphor will be missed outside of NY and LA. The problem is the heavy marketing based on David's incredibly successful TV co-creation, Seinfeld. If David (and partner Jerry Seinfeld) wanted to make a Seinfeld flick, and include the raunchy elements that they couldn't do on television (though there's only one of those and given the quality of writing on the show, they could have worked it in) then that's what they should have done.

Since this isn't the Seinfeld movie, I'm free to make comparisons. Oh happy happy joy joy.

What you get in Sour Grapes is a puree of Jerry and George, with no Kramer for comic relief. There's just no way around it. The story, about a jaunt to Atlantic City and a slot machine jackpot won on borrowed money, is functional enough. But we've got 90 minutes to endure and only two more substantial funny situations to flesh it all out. Everything else is padding and drops this stinker right to the level of a rental.

The sitch, if you are so inclined: Evan (Steven Weber) is a doctor. His cousin Richie (Craig Bierko) designs the soles of running shoes. The doctor has a high class girlfriend. The cousin has half a Fran Drescher, though his mom () qualifies for complete smothering stereotype status. Off the double pair go to Atlantic City, for some gambling and hot hotel sex, and promptly lose everything but a couple of quarters. The doc gives his last two to his cousin, who hits a $436 Grand jackpot and refuses to split the winnings.

The rest of the flick is filled with limp gags based on trying to heal the familial split; broken relationships with the girls; a prank misdiagnosis; and an especially unpleasant gag about homeless people. Cranky isn't being PC, it just isn't a funny sitch. The two remaining gags will not be revealed. If you're sucker enough to lay out your bucks for this bomb, there should be at least something for you to enjoy.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Sour Grapes, he would have paid . . .


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