In Philip F. Messina’s limp, leftover (from 1998) Hollywood satire about struggling character actors, Bill Murray affirms himself as a true incarnation of insincerity in the briefest of cameos, deadpanning the line “Honestly, I wouldn’t miss this for the world” at a lame party. He looks exceedingly uncomfortable, surely cognizant of his words’ overwhelming irony. Messina’s characters gripe at being typecast as goombah hit men, yet the director seems blissfully unaware that he dooms them to the very fate they protest by painting them with such prosaic, uninspired strokes. Even a few strong strands of acting from David Strathairn aren’t enough to stitch the threadbare script in this cheap mohair suit of a movie, where plot and characterization are drawn strictly off the rack. Only a mook could love it, and if you don’t know what a mook is, go see With Friends Like These and be found—I mean find out.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 15, 2005