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
by DAVID KEYES
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 ¾
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
example: We learn that Richie, desperate for attention from
his angered wife, performs oral sex on himself, to supposedly
'pass the time.'
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.
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.
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, Cinemaphile.org.
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if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.