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SOUR GRAPES, 1998
Movie Review

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SOUR GRAPES MOVIE POSTER SOUR GRAPES, 1998
Movie Reviews

Directed by Larry David
Starring: Craig Bierko, Steven Webber, Jennifer Leigh Warren, Karen Sillas, Scott Erik, Viola Harris, Jack Burns
Review by Brian Last



SYNOPSIS:

Thereís no such thing as free money.

Plot

Evan and Ritchie Maxwell are cousins, close as brothers and one would think nothing could ever come between them. On a weekend to Atlantic City Ritchie hits a jackpot of over $ 400,000, however there is a catch. Evan gave Ritchie the quarters to be able to play the machine. Now Evan and Ritchie get into a petty squabble of epic proportions about what should be paid to the other. Evan thinks at least half, Ritchie thinks 50 cents but to be a good guy he pays to cover Evans losses for the weekend. Of course Evan takes that as a slap in the face.

The fight goes beyond Atlantic City to the point it is taking its toll on both their personal and professional lives. Ritchie despite his best efforts let the money go to his head, he mouthed off a limo driver and quits his job in an obnoxious way. He ended up getting into a bizarre war of words with his boss who was bookman on an episode of Seinfeld. Evan doesnít do much better, he gets so distracted he botches a surgery on a television celebrity whose on a sitcom that is like a Friends parody.

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REVIEW:

Writer/ Director of the film Larry David left his show Seinfeld in the 7th season to develop this movie. A lot of Seinfeld fans would believe he wouldíve been better off staying with the show, but I disagree. I thought the film was hilarious and the story was one that everyone can relate to. This was also a great project to bridge the gap between Seinfeld and Curb your enthusiasm. It got us ready for the R rated version of Seinfeld. It also prepared us for the style of comedy Larry David is synonymous for, and that is the humor brought out in the awkwardness from every day social interaction.

I thought Bierko was very funny and under appreciated as Ritchie, he was very over the top and goofy, and that complimented Webberís more subtle one liners and odd faces. The two had really good chemistry together; you really thought they had worked a lot together, or that they were cousins.

Although not all critics were as kind as I was, in 2005 Sour grapes made it on Roger Ebertís most hated films. He gave the film zero stars and in his review he is quoted as saying I canít remember a film Iíve enjoyed less. On IMDB Sour Grapes averaged a 5.4/ 10, the film was also a flop at the box office. David got his sort of revenge on Ebert in one of his Curb episodes. There was a rotund food critic that gave everything thumbs down, Ebertís signature move. By the end of the episode the critic ends up getting his thumbs broken.

I really liked the writing, there were a few parts of the film that I related to and similar things had happened to me. I also liked how the story escalated so out of control so quickly and by the obscure way it happened. It was a fun little comedy that I thought got a lot of unnecessary flack. I felt it is better than people think. I also think Seinfeld fans will either love it or really hate it there will be no fence sitters, I personally loved it. However they vote they will definitely appreciate the mean spirited and off beat humor that has made Seinfeld and Curb hits, and made Larry David a household name.

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