Review from my VOD column "This Week on Demand"
As fondly cinephilic a comedy as any I’ve seen, Stanley Tucci’s second film as director is a masterful confluence of comic influences, everything from its hilariously gripping silent opening scene to its absurdist audition and its farcical finale a hat-tip of some sort to one forebear or another. Tucci and Oliver Platt star—in roles as good as any they’ve ever had—alongside an incredible cast including Steve Buscemi, Billy Connolly, Richard Jenkins, Isabella Rossellini, Michael Emerson, Tony Shalhoub and more in a laugh-a-minute romp that’s unashamedly silly, and all the funnier for it. It’s remarkable that so many styles can be crammed together and still work; more than once—heck, more than five times—I was reduced to fits of tears at the insanity unfolding onscreen, my ribs bruising under the duress of sustaining so constant a stream of laughter. Why this is not considered among the greatest of comedies, I do not know.