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heed the Affleck, for he is wise...

R

Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Kristen Wiig, J.K. Simmons, Clifton Collins Jr.

Joel: What is it with women, ya know?  They say they don’t care about looks, they just want a guy who’s smart and funny, but they always just end up laughing at whatever the good looking stupid guy says.

Joel (Bateman), the owner of a factory that makes extract, is on the verge of selling the factory and retiring.  Unfortunately his plans are slowed by a few things:  an injured worker who may want to sue the company, a new employee who likes to cheat people out of money, and marital problems that lead Joel to make some very poor decisions.

I’ve seen several movies recently featuring Jason Bateman in supporting parts, but in this one he gets to take over the lead role.  After he, and the movie, have a bit of a slow start, I thought the comedy picked up quite a bit once things started to go wrong.  It never achieves uproariously funny status, but there are some solid laughs throughout.

As good as Bateman is in the lead, some of the supporting roles make the movie.  Affleck and Simmons in particular are good.  Though, unfortunately it seems that writer/director Mike Judge maybe doesn’t know how to write comedic dialogue for his female characters – see: Kunis and Wiig in this movie and Jennifer Aniston in Office Space.  They’re likable enough characters, but most of the comedy comes from the men.  Both Wiig and Kunis are good in the parts they’re given (an unfaithful wife and a con-woman, respectively), but…well, neither has all that much funny stuff to say.

While I doubt this movie will be as relatable to people as – or have the staying power of – Office Space, it’s funny enough to at least give it a look.  And if you’re having a hard time deciding if you want to watch it or not, just get out your Jump To Conclusions Mat and let it do the thinking for you.

It seems to be trying to teach me to not trust women…

10 – 1 for a slow beginning that’s low on comedy – 1 for a few other comedic lulls here and there – 1.3 for a few weak characters = 6.7