Dealin' With Idiots (NR)

Comedy 88 July 12, 2013
By Michael Atkinson
As simplistic and ungracious as its title, Jeff Garlin's debut as an indie auteur relives the stupefying ordeal the brand-name cable comic and cartoon-voice pro apparently had to undergo handling the Beverly Hills parents attached to his son's Little League team. Enlisting a horde of deft buddies (Bob Odenkirk, Fred Willard, Richard Kind, Nia Vardalos) to caricature the hyper-competitive monstro-moms and psycho-dads, Garlin rather self-aggrandizingly shoots every fish in his beer can, particularly once he begins visiting with the narcissistic assholes (the adults, not the kids, who get almost no screentime) as "research" for a script he might develop about how stupid they are. Years of HBO seasoning has given Garlin and his cast a sure touch and great timing (Jami Gertz's high-tension snack matriarch stands out as a remarkable creation), but the whole project is mean-hearted and lazy, and it dawdles in repetition and dead air as if it's got a 14-show TV season to spin out. Sometimes it's enough; bantering in a dusty ballpark in the hot L.A. sun isn't an unpleasant vibe. You wouldn't mind being there, but only if you were Garlin-- everybody else gets made a fool.
Jeff Garlin Jeff Garlin, Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Bob Odenkirk, J.B. Smoove, Gina Gershon Jeff Garlin, Peter Murrieta Erin O'Malley, Christine Vachon IFC Films

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