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Safe Men Reviews

Aggressively wacky and offbeat, whatever charm this film has is by virtue of its authentic low-budget quirkiness. Sam and Eddie (Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn) are execrably bad Rhode Island folk singers in slacker garb, and play consistently disastrous gigs like bingo night at a Polish nursing home. While attempting to drink away their sorrows in a local bar, they're mistaken for Frank and Mitch (Mark Ruffalo, Josh Pais), the sticky-fingered safecrackers behind a string of capers in the Providence area, by an obnoxious guy named Veal Chop (Paul Giamatti), who sells the disconsolate duo on the idea of breaking into some old guy's house. But surprise: The old guy is Veal Chop's boss, Jewish Mafioso Big Fat Bernie Gayle (Michael Lerner), the B&E gig was a setup, and now Big Fat Bernie Gayle is insistent that they're going to do three jobs for him to make up for having invaded his house. Their pleas that they don't know the first thing about cracking a safe fall on deaf ears. Having embarked on this reluctant life of crime, Sam is soon dating Hannah (Christina Kirk), the daughter of prominent fence Leo (Harvey Fierstein). And Sam and Eddie are eventually forced to team up with Frank and Mitch to pull off a job during Big Fat Bernie Gayle's lavish bar mitzvah for spoiled Bernie Jr. (Michael Schmidt): The extravaganza features break-dancing, ice sculptures, hockey stars and flammable pants. The success of this sort of material depends on whether you think the world needs another tired riff on the identity of your favorite Charlie's Angel. But first-time writer-director John Hamburg gets points for a delightful spoof of the classic SAY ANYTHING scene in which John Cusack uses his boom box for an impromptu serenade.