Sour Grapes

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy

Would Seinfeld have been a hit if every character were George Costanza? Seinfeld cocreator Larry David might have benefited from giving that question a little more thought before crafting this miserable lump of a feature-film debut. Cousins Richie (Craig Bierko) and Evan (Steven Weber), respectively a designer of sneaker soles and a surgeon, take a trip...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Would Seinfeld have been a hit if every character were George Costanza? Seinfeld cocreator Larry David might have benefited from giving that question a little more thought before crafting this miserable lump of a feature-film debut.

Cousins Richie (Craig Bierko) and Evan (Steven Weber), respectively a designer of sneaker soles and a surgeon, take a trip to Atlantic City. Richie wins more than $400,000 at slots, but two of the three quarters he pumped into the machine were Evan's, so Evan thinks he deserves a cut. Feelings are

hurt, words exchanged, retaliatory tactics plotted and family members forced to take sides. While there's plenty of opportunity for cruel humor here, it's mostly squandered on curdled clichés. The purported laugh-getters include emasculating girlfriends and smothering Jewish mamas, mouthy black

people and bitchy ex-wives, sleazy landlords and, of course, puerile sex gags: Evan mistakenly neuters an overweening TV actor (Matt Keeslar), while Richie's school-yard claim to fame is that he can fellate himself. The film's timing is pure sitcom: smart remark, snappy reply, awkward pause for

the nonexistent laugh track. But that's a minor complaint. The major one is that Evan and Richie are the same character in two bodies, -- a petty, selfish and self-pitying complainer who takes offense at the rain that falls and doesn't hesitate to say so. Their dialogue is 100 percent

interchangeable, so by the end it all blurs into one long, self-righteous monologue. Who got offended when someone let the elevator doors close in his face and who was put out when a stranger sat too close in an almost empty bar? Who cares?

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Would Seinfeld have been a hit if every character were George Costanza? Seinfeld cocreator Larry David might have benefited from giving that question a little more thought before crafting this miserable lump of a feature-film debut. Cousins Richie (Craig… (more)

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