Directed by: Seth Gordon
This is neither a bad, nor a particularly good film, as a matter of fact, it isn’t even a necessarily realistic film, it is, however, a funny one. The film’s premise is that Sandy Bigalow-Patterson (Bateman ) is just a “regular guy” he is a downtrodden guy in an ordinary job working in the financial industry where his bosses make huge bonuses while he struggles along on an “ordinary” salary. Then one day, things go completely awry — his identity is stolen (this is why you don’t give your ID, SS# or passwords to anyone over the phone). Diana (McCarthy) is a completely amoral crook who lies, cheats, steals, and makes bogus credit cards for Paolo (Jonathan Banks), a jailed mobster whose gun-toting lackeys don’t really have much of a sense of humor.
You see, Diana has not only stolen Sandy’s credit card info (and presumably those of numerous other hapless folks), but has been running up the charges on them before turning them over to the crooks with whom she’s been dealing. Now even as Sandy wants his life (and credit score) back, so too do the mobsters want their money back, but, we’re getting ahead of our self here. Sandy, a nice guy with a loving wife (a very under-used Peet), two kids and another on the way has his life turned upside-down when Diana racks up huge bills on his credit. When confronted with her crimes and the police’s unwillingness or inability to go pick her up and have her arrested, he determines to travel from Denver to Florida himself to pick her up and bring her to justice.
Sure, we realize that this is not really the way most people would handle this type of incident, but then if he did things the “real world” way, there would have been no movie, so hold your gripes, sit back and try and enjoy the movie you paid to see. Needless to say, Sandy tries to bring her back but, understandably, she really doesn’t want to go, and it is only the gunsals shooting at her that help him leverage her into agreeing to travel with him back to Denver. So now the film turns into a road trip with the nice guy and the pathological, diabolical liar who likes to punch people in the throat. Then, as if all that wasn’t enough, lets add in a skip tracer in the form of a very scruffy-looking (and almost unrecognizable) Robert Patrick and slap a time limit on it to get her back to Denver and let the whole thing rid itself out.
Funny? Yes. Moments of genuine poignancy? Sure (still with a run-time of 112 minutes, almost too much). finally, the film winds up with a very interesting ending as well as a surprising coda making it a fine film, all around.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.