Leon Phelps (Tim Meadows) is the smooth-talking woman-chaser who hosts his own popular late-night radio call-in show, dispensing advice on affairs of the heart. But after being ejected from his job for one too many vulgar and inappropriate comments, he unsuccessfully seeks employment from every radio station in Chicago. Out of options, Leon receives a mysterious letter from his “true love” asking him to return to her – and her money. Problem solved. All Leon has to do is figure out who she is.
So how do you keep an objective mind when you have to review a film built around a moderately funny but always skanky frequent “Saturday Night Live” sketch? Sometimes, you can’t. I entered the press screening thinking I was going to hate this movie, and sure enough, I did. I hated, hated, hated this movie. (Oops, sorry, Mr. Ebert.) It’s a one-joke movie built around politically incorrect sexist humor. To assume that this film is attempting to mock such behavior is like thinking “The Flintstones” was an earnest portrait of prehistoric daily life. Tim Meadows is certainly comfortable with crudity, but his “sensitive” moments are as untrue as anything Chevy Chase ever did. He’s a sketch artist, but a movie star? Or an actor? There’s no evidence of that here. And the character he created hasn’t one single redeeming value in his makeup. Producer Loren Michaels has given us several great satirical moments on his late-night burlesque show, but time after time he makes the miscalculated assumption that a ten-minute skit that received the praise of two or more write-ins will transfer into full-length feature success. Oh, he’ll make money on several of these efforts, but when your finances are already secure, very secure, does more financial gain satisfy the artistic nature? (Well, I guess I am taking it for granted that a producer would want to do more than make money.) If so, I guess we can next expect Will Ferrell in a two-hour spoof of William Jefferson Clinton. That may sound like a good concept, but many believe the President has already been doing that for quite some time.