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By Ron Wells | July 27, 1998

See it early. Avoid the mob — at the video store! Phhhheewww! This one’s a little over-ripe. The late Lloyd Bridges goes out with a belly flop in this Zucker/Abrahams style send-up of … something. It mocks gangster movies, primarily “The Godfather I and II”, “Casino” and “Goodfellas”, but it barely touches anything else with only one or two “Scarface” references. I don’t know where the Jane Austen part comes in. Plucky heroines are in short supply. Maybe they saved themselves from this movie.
Director Jim Abrahams and a writing team of apparently a bunch of spider monkeys bring out the comedy Gatlin guns and shoot at everything that moves. Every once in a while they hit something, mainly in the first fifteen minutes. It’s pretty slim pickings after that.
What the hell is Jay Mohr doing in this movie? Were Adam Sandler and Anthony Michæl Hall too busy? It makes me long for Pauly Shore’s triumphant return to screen.
In the age of the Farrelly brothers (“Something About Mary”) and the “South Park” boys, is there any place left for this stale style of comedy? These types of comedies used to seem smart, now they’re for braindead 12 year-olds. Since the two Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams broke up as a team, we seem to get less than one third the laughs per movie. Do these guys care, anymore? Granted, “First Knight” was funny, but not in a good way. I hope they let Trey Parker and Matt Stone do a LOT of their own material for “BASEketball” or all the funnies are in the trailers. Since the Hollywood studios all lapsed into self-parody (check out Warner Bros. ’97 release slate) I don’t think we need this stuff anymore. “Con Air” was basically “Airplane! III”. They should let the new guys take the mantle while they’re still young and hungry (and funny). The old guys can then age gracefully into light comedy, just like Ivan Reitman. Okay, bad example.

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