by Tony Medley
Runtime 120 minutes.
Not for children.
While this is
peopled by actors like Robert De Niro, Danny DeVito, Patty LuPone,
Charles Grodin, Jimmie Walker, and Harvey Keitel, who have seen better
days, it is well directed by Taylor Hackford. Even though there are four
credits for the screenplay, and I won’t bore you by listing them, maybe
some of them were there to write the one-liners that washed-up stand-up
comic Jackie Burke (De Niro) mouths throughout the film.
Because he beat up a
heckler (Happy Anderson), Jackie gets out of a short jail sentence and
meets up with his manager, Miller (Edie Falco) who does her best to find
him gigs even though he grouses about them.
Eventually he meets
up with Harmony (Leslie Mann, in a sparkling performance) who is the
daughter of a fast talking Florida real estate magnate (Keitel) and
Actually the best
part of the movie, in addition to the fine performances by De Niro and
Mann and the others, is comprised of Jackie’s foul mouth monologues that
he delivers to any audience available.
There are also a few
neo-progressive positions that director Hackford has foisted upon his
audience. But anyone watching movies these days must either become
immune to these things or give up movies.
This is a profane
but lighthearted look at a comedian who has seen better days that is
more funny than serious. De Niro presents himself as a very good
standup, but, then, he is a good actor and a good actor should be able
to play anything convincingly.