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Stars: Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Dustin Milligan, J K Simmons, Clifton Collins Jr, Gene Simmons

Director: Mike Judge

There's the gem of an amusing idea here, but it's flattened by leaden treatment. Some may praise Affleck for trying something different as a bearded wierdo bartender, but frankly it's a role anyone could have played. Star of the 'show', though, is Bateman as the owner of an 'extract' factory, who's beset both by workers who are always stop-starting and a wife (Wiig) who, for reasons the screenplay can't explain, hasn't had sex with him for several months.

In a separate story strand, Cindy (Kunis), a kleptomaniac, is hired by Bateman and promptly steals left, right and centre, while suspicion falls on non-American speakers (not sure about the PC of that).

Under the influence of drugs supplied by Affleck, Bateman hires a male prostitute (Milligan) to seduce his wife, which happens with (unbelievable) ease. After 15 sex sessions, Bateman calls a halt, but is further saddled with an industrial injury claim of mega proportions when an indolent worker is injured in a rather personal area after yet another tools-down moment from his colleagues.

Encouraged by Cindy, who sees a potential goldmine, the worker sues for millions. And, oh yes, Bateman has a thing for Cindy. 'How often,' he asks, 'am I going to meet a girl that pretty who's into fruit flavouring?'

Not very persuasively written, this will induce mainly sighs from an audience, although there are a few sniggers as well. At the end, the script settles for a reconciliation that doesn't even approach a satisfactory resolution to the plot.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 Apr 2010