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Made for Each Other

A lack-of-sex comedy that somehow features a barnyard's worth of rutting human animals.

Danny - Christopher Kennedy Masterson Marci - Bijou Phillips Mack - Patrick Warburton Morris - Danny Masterson Mike - Samm Levine Catherine - Lauren German Mrs. Jacobs - Leslie Hendrix Mr. Jacobs - George Segal Waitress - Marnie Schulenburg Mr. Fleckenshecker - Michael Lee Gogin

A lack-of-sex comedy that somehow features a barnyard’s worth of rutting human animals, “Made for Each Other” is often wryly hilarious, completely overboard and unpredictable. Pairing an utterly absurd premise with an attractive and talented cast, the pic seems made for IFC’s video-on-demand platform, where it’s amusing the couch-bound alongside its limited New York theatrical run.

It’s not clear exactly how, but everybody in town knows that Danny (Christopher Kennedy Masterson, “Malcolm in the Middle”) and Marci (Bijou Phillips) haven’t consummated their union after three months of marriage. This, naturally, yields an occasionally unappetizing smorgasbord of innuendo served up by elderly neighbors, co-workers and the habitues of the wing joint where Danny and his fellow vulgarians drip hot sauce, beer and obscene observations.

Notable among the wingmen are Morris (Danny Masterson, Christopher’s brother) a divorce lawyer who advertises himself as “the Executioner,” and Mike (Samm Levine), who is sleeping with Danny’s mother (Leslie Hendrix, who can hereby wave goodbye to her butch image as “Law and Order’s” medical examiner). The word “vagina” is bandied about by, well, almost everyone. “Piercing” is used as a noun.

Scripted by Eric Lord, and not to be confused in any way at all, ever, with the 1939 James Stewart-Carole Lombard film of the same title, “Made for Each Other” offers the following shaggy-dog implausibilities: 1) Danny’s affair with his vaguely Teutonic boss, Catherine (Lauren German), Marci’s bombshell sister, who pursues Danny the way a shark chases a one-legged swimmer; 2) that Danny would want to rectify his adulterous situation by finding someone to sleep with his wife, so they’d be even; 3) that he would find a willing confederate in actor Mack Mackenzie (Patrick Warburton, in prime form), currently appearing in an ambitious staging of “Waterworld: The Musical” (“Water here/Water there!/Water everywhere!”); and 4) everything else in the film.

The story is ridiculous to the point of being Shakespearean, but the film’s strength lies in the offhanded bits, the digressions, the reaction shots, the laugh lines hanging in the air like underwear on a neighbor’s clothesline, and the cast — notably Hendrix, an economically used George Segal as her philandering husband, and the remarkably funny German, Levine and Danny Masterson.

Helmer Daryl Bob Goldberg may have a narrative swamp on his hands, but he balances his assets cautiously, frugally and with a ripe sense of audacious humor that quite often veers into the smutty, filthy and pornographic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, or, God forbid, uncommercial, but it does make for an uneven tone — sophistication and vulgarity, the sophomoric and the chic.

Production values are just fine.

Popular on Variety

Made for Each Other

Production: An IFC Films release of a Texas Jew/Offshoot/Cigar Smoking Dago production in association with Moderncine Prods. Produced by Carol Masterson, William M. Miller, Christopher Kennedy Masterson, Andrew van den Houten. Executive producers, Jimmy Previti, John Paul Previti. Co-producer, Robert Tonino. Co-executive producers, Eric Lord, Daryl Goldberg. Directed by Daryl Bob Goldberg. Screenplay, Eric Lord.

Crew: Camera (color), William M. Miller; editor, Goldberg; music, Ryan Shore; production designer, Brian Rzepka; art director, Richard Peete; set decorator, Emilie Ritzmann; costume designer, Michael Bevins; sound, Eric Thomas; rerecording mixer, Nicholas Montgomery; stunt coordinators, Roy Farfel, Gene Harrison, Chazz Menendez; choreographer, Kelli Barclay; associate producers, Eric Berkal, Santo Silvestro, Sam Hamadeh; casting, Cindi Rush. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Dec. 2, 2009. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Danny - Christopher Kennedy Masterson Marci - Bijou Phillips Mack - Patrick Warburton Morris - Danny Masterson Mike - Samm Levine Catherine - Lauren German Mrs. Jacobs - Leslie Hendrix Mr. Jacobs - George Segal Waitress - Marnie Schulenburg Mr. Fleckenshecker - Michael Lee Gogin

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