'The Honeymooners'

THE HONEYMOONERS
Directed by John Schultz
Paramount, in release

Not only are baby boomers gearing up to plunder Social Security, they continue to lionize their beloved TV touchstones with lamentable theatrical retreads. John Schultz's wan, unfunny The Honeymooners is unlikely to tickle devotees of Jackie Gleason's archetypal yuk-fest—that show's setup (NYC bus driver Ralph Kramden cooks up knuckleheaded money-making schemes, verbally terrorizes wife and friends) barely serves as a framework for this version. The series' claustrophobic milieu is junked in favor of Manhattan money shots and plodding subplots, while Gleason's slow burn is reduced to listless double takes by comparative pussycat Cedric the Entertainer. The real problem is that the Kramdens' precarious financial situation, which gave the original its poignant frisson, is sidestepped. The movie would have us believe that an MTA stiff can afford scads of natty duds and the down payment on a—sweet Jesus—pristine two-family Victorian in Brooklyn. MARK HOLCOMB

 
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