Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Leisure Class Movie Review

The Leisure Class (2015)

Watch The Leisure Class on Amazon Video with a free HBO 7-day trial
Written by: Pete Jones, Jason Mann
Directed by: Jason Mann
Starring: Ed Weeks, Tom Bell, Bridget Regan
Rated: TV-MA

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Debonair Englishman William is about to marry Fiona, an East coast senator's daughter, but William is really a con man and his ruse begins to unravel when his brother shows up at the wedding.

The story is terrible. Imagine Wedding Crashers (2005), but take away the comedy, charismatic actors, interesting plot points, and anything else you consider good about Wedding Crashers, and you'd be left with this. It's incredibly derivative, and you'll swear you've seen a movie just like this before. Pairing a slick con-man with his obnoxious brother is a tired concept and made worse when that's all this movie has to offer.
All of the big production arguments were inconsequential. The directing is adequate, which is a surprise.
Skip it.

I watched this only because I saw the happenings behind the scenes on HBO's Project Greenlight Season 4 (read my review). So how bad is this movie?
The production problems don't make this bad. The script is terrible. It's uninspiring, unfunny, and just a waste of good film.

Director Jason Mann made such a big deal over shooting in film despite the extra cost. This isn't the kind of movie that needs film. This is an attempt at comedy. I can only say attempt because to be a comedy, it needs to actually be funny. The main conceit is that William's brother Leonard (Tom Bell) comes to the wedding for no good reason. He doesn't care whether he blows his brother's cover, acting like an obnoxious drunk most of the time. A foil to the charismatic William. William's sister-in-law and then fiance follow Leonard's lead and act crazy too. It's almost silly how bad the script is. The crazy drunk man that's obviously lying causes William's fiance to re-evaluate her life.

An actor surprise I didn't realize, Christine Lakin from Step by Step, the Friday night ABC series, plays Leonard's hooker. I had no idea it was her. This is the best thing about the movie, and that isn't saying much.

Jason Mann claimed the car crash was pivotal to the movie and needed a big car flip. The budget didn't allow it, and I don't see how his idea would have worked. This isn't the movie that needs a big car crash. What we got fit perfectly. The producer saved Mann from himself on that one. That crash would have been another illogical story point because I doubt anyone would have gotten injured in the horrendous crash originally envisioned.

This takes a turn towards the end, but in a movie that isn't that funny the over the top turn didn't play well. In Project Greenlight, concern was expressed over whether Mann could direct a comedy. The answer is not only can he not direct it, he can't write it either.

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