Sour Grapes
Rating -

Comedy (US); 1998; Rated R; 91 Minutes

Steven Weber: Evan Maxwell
Craig Bierko: Richie Maxwell
Matthew Keeslar: Danny Pepper
Karen Sillas: Joan
Robyn Peterman: Roberta
Viola Harris: Selma Maxwell
Orlando Jones: Digby

Produced by Barry M. Berg , Laurie Lennard, and Yoli Poropat; Directed and screenwritten by Larry David

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Written by DAVID KEYES

"Sour Grapes" is a disgusting film; one so morally lewd and perverted that it is a disgrace to cinema. There is no possible way to enjoy any version of it, unless (maybe) you cut out of the material and replace it with leftover "Seinfeld" episodes. Even the material that deserves to exist doesn't belong on the film screen, because all of it is so inappropriate and repulsive that you wonder if Larry David had been spanked on the fanny too many times when he was a kid. Attending it was a waste of time, money, and human patience.

The movie is classified as comedy, but there is nothing funny or amusing about the material, to me or the other unfortunate humans who were or will be subject to it. What little story exists involves the 'unlikely duo' Evan and Richie Maxwell, two cousins (or brothers, maybe) who move into the same town. Evan is a surgeon, and one day, he gives Richie some quarters to gamble with. When he manages to make a jackpot off of those quarters, both of them quarrel over who gets the money, and the quarrel eventually gets to the point where this money problem drives a wedge between them and results in a bitter feud between both sides of the family.

Both men have the attention span of a dead body and the mental capacity of dry cereal. The mother of one of the boys is an annoying, racist pest who looks like she was scraped off the bottom of a Burger King grill. Some of the other characters are just as grotesque, but they don't play an important role for much of the movie.

Let me repeat myself: none of this material is funny: the only tasks it tries to accomplish are to gross people out and frustrate them with disbelief. And strangely, Larry David, the screenwriter, cheerfully displays these things as if they were characteristics he grew up around.

In one such careless scene, Evan goes into the operating room to remove one of the testicles on a man with prostate cancer, only to realize he's removed the wrong one, because he switched the x-rays around. Evan seems horrified at his mistake, but the look in his eyes makes you think he's dying to laugh.

Another example: We learn that Richie, desperate for attention from his angered wife, performs oral sex on himself, to supposedly 'pass the time.'

Allow me to repeat it once more: THIS IS NOT FUNNY. This has never been funny, and this will never be funny, no matter what type of material these jokes are used in. No, they wouldn't even be funny in a Shakespearean comedy. What respectable human being would even feel amused by these sick things? What human being would even think that these aspects could even be humorous? I presume no one, unless, of course, people think like Larry David.

The movie was directed and written by David, who, you will recall, wrote the script for the series "Seinfeld." That show was, sometimes, funny, so we know he isn't a completely terrible writer. Perhaps he was possessed by a perverted entity at this time. Perhaps he is so mentally deficient that he couldn't tell the difference between human decency and human grotesqueness.

Regardless of what those possibilities are, "Sour Grapes" is, and always will be, complete and utter trash. Calling it one of 1998's worst films would be an act of mercy.

1998, David Keyes, Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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