Made

on July 13, 2001 by Paul Clinton
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   Jon Favreau's sock-in-the-mouth comedy "Made" plays like a dystopian "Swingers." The humor isn't ebullient; it's anxiety-ridden. Instead of bopping through Los Angeles clubs looking for babes, Bobby (Favreau) and Ricky (Vince Vaughn) must drop off a bundle of money for their mobster bosses (a grungy Peter Falk and silky Sean "Puffy" Combs). What should be a routine assignment turns into a comedy of errors when the two blunder their way through the simplest of tasks.

   The routines don't have the innocence (or anarchic slapstick) of Laurel and Hardy, but the set-up is the same, focusing on two blue-collar dopes who frustrate their supervisors.

   Favreau, in his barbed script, gives Vaughn many of the funniest lines. Instead of sight gags, Favreau hangs his comedy on Vaughn's savagely funny wisecracks. Ricky's mouth is always getting him in trouble. On a flight to New York, Vaughn torments a stewardess. At their hotel, he berates a bellhop (Sam Rockwell, in an uncredited cameo). Few other actors are as amusing, or as comfortable, playing a smug jerk (Alec Baldwin comes to mind).

   Favreau gives his own role depth by including a relationship between Bobby and the daughter of his stripper girlfriend (Famke Janssen). And it gives him a way to end the movie on an upbeat note.

   "Made's" jokes don't have much of a visual dimension. It's not that "Made" is dreary to look at; Cameraman Christopher Doyle ("Chungking Express") gives the movie a murky, poetic realism. But Favreau's attempt to stage his version of the stateroom scene from "A Night at the Opera"--with four guys huddled in a toilet stall, fumbling with a cocaine fix--falls flat.    Starring Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Peter Falk and Sean Combs. Directed and written by Jon Favreau. Produced by Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. An Artisan release. Comedy. Rated R for pervasive language, some drug use and sexuality. Running time: 94 min.

Tags: Puffy, Swingers, gangsters, buddy comedy, mobsters, Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Peter Falk, Sean Combs, Sam Rockwell, Famke Janssen
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