| Original Score: 2/4
| Original Score: 2/5
The characters are generally too repulsive even for our toleration, much less our affection, and the comedy is too mild to transcend that lack of involvement.
The movie is as lifeless and unfunny as a corpse on a slab.
Instead of becoming involved in the convoluted plot, we stand on the outside looking in, not laughing enough to make it all worthwhile.
It's the easiest kind of comedy, comedy of derision. No joke about the rubes is left alone. And no obvious plot twist is, either.
All of the main characters in this movie are despicable. This is why they are fun.
| Original Score: C
Each idea is good for maybe one and a half funny moments, tops. Add them up, and you may have a halfway-decent sitcom episode but not a movie.
Ends up looking like cut-rate Coen, and it's got an obtrusive soundtrack straight from the heavy-metal bargain bin.
A visually unattractive picture of meager verve and dynamism.
Kudrow is the film's true manic engine, and her ability to carry off perky amorality propels the preposterous plot forward.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
It pretty much squanders the talents of everybody involved.
Gags hit with sledgehammer heaviness and most of them mock the movie's own characters so relentlessly -- and mirthlessly -- that one winces rather than laughs.
There's something refreshing about the way it invites us to splash around in its little wading pool of amorality.
Now I like dumb comedy as much as the next dimwit, but not when the filmmakers condescend to their characters in order to make the audience feel superior.
Travolta and Kudrow make a winning combination, and the result is mindless, instantly forgettable comic fluff that will engage you, given half a chance.
Tells too much story at not enough energy. It should have been cut back and cranked up.
Never finds the comic tone it's after.
Clever and diverting.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
It's hard to squeeze laughs out of such material, though the talented actors give it their best effort.
A movie that drips with condescension.
A dark comedy in the muckraking mode that starts out murderously well but then begins to unravel -- just like Russ' misbegotten schemes.
| Original Score: 3/4
[Ephron] seems to condescend to the characters.
| Original Score: 1/5
The laughs are few in this inert, ungenerous comedy.
| Original Score: D
Ephron ... delivers characters and situations that are lame and oddly condescending.
A roundelay of frenzied action that racks up deal after extortionate deal and body after body while hit after retro hit plays on the soundtrack; sound and fury, pretty much about nothing.
The jokes waft off the screen and pelt the audience with all the force of dust specks.