By Bob Westal | January 8, 2002

Frank (John C. Reilly) may be the pettiest of bureaucrats, but his otherwise hellish, soul-destroying job leaves him with plenty of time on his hands. Frank daydreams of fame, fortune and immortality as an author, but getting down to business is going to be tricky. If he wants to write the great American novel in that beautiful new blank book of his, he’ll have to overcome annoying coworkers, an abusive superior (Steven Katt) and an overriding sense of inadequacy. When a series of mishaps gradually reduce the precious book to a few coffee-soaked pages, Frank’s literary ambitions hang in the balance.
Laconically written and directed by R.A. White and inspired by the novel “The Book of Frank” by Simon Black, “Frank’s Book” benefits from a strong premise, a nicely restrained style, and the always outstanding John C. Reilly (“Magnolia,” “Hard Eight”). Unfortunately, it takes a little too long to get where it needs to go and ultimately, it’s not clear just what the point is.
Still, this is a decent, thoughtful piece of work and R.A. White seems to have some interesting friends. Aside from snagging Reilly in the lead, newborn movie star Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D. are both on hand in separate cameos, as is actor/violinist Michæl Panes (the Peter Sellers look-alike from “The Anniversary Party”, this time dressed as a Hasid and doing a Klezmer-jam with Gass).

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