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Film Review: ‘Dealin’ With Idiots’

Jeff Garlin co-wrote, directed and starred in this flat, aimless comedy skewering the parents of junior baseball players.

With:
Steve Agee, Hope Dworaczyk, Jeff Garlin, Gina Gershon, Jami Gertz, Ian Gomez, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Richard Kind, Bob Odenkirk, Timothy Olyphant, Alex Puccinelli, David Sheridan, JB Smoove, Nia Vardalos, Fred Willard.

For once, truth in advertising: “Dealin’ With Idiots” spends 83 minutes doing exactly that. Drawing on personal experience, actor-comedian Jeff Garlin co-wrote, directed and starred in this flat, aimless comedy skewering the parents of junior baseball players, a group of losers, malcontents and fussbudgets who are apparently in a league of their own where stupidity is concerned. Too weightless to qualify as misanthropic, the IFC release is getting a limited bicoastal run but will find its most appreciative audience among fans of the numerous standup comedians rounding out the ensemble.

Popular comic Max Morris (Garlin, not exactly stretching himself) decides to make a movie about the parents of the other kids on his son’s baseball team, necessitating a series of one-on-one interviews for research purposes. The subjects include a coach (Bob Odenkirk) who runs both the team and the local print shop with clueless officiousness; a nutrition enthusiast (Jami Gertz) who insists on “100% parent participation” and passes around a binder full of carefully illustrated snack recommendations; a bickersome lesbian couple (Kerri Kenney-Silver, Gina Gershon); a hot nanny (Hope Dworaczyk); and a pathetic Richard Kind character (Richard Kind). In between these aggravating encounters, Max has pleasant conversations with his dead dad (Timothy Olyphant). Don’t stay past the closing credits.

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Film Review: 'Dealin' With Idiots'

Reviewed on DVD, Pasadena, Calif., July 18, 2013. Running time: 83 MIN.

Production: An IFC Films release and presentation of a Killer Films/Young and Handsome production. Produced by Erin O'Malley, Christine Vachon. Executive producers, Peter Murrieta, John Sloss, Jonathan Sehring, Arianna Bocco. Co-producers, Stephanie Meurer, Megan Murphy.

Crew: Directed by Jeff Garlin. Screenplay, Garlin, Peter Murrieta. Camera (color), James Laxton; editors, Jonathan Corn, Nena Hsu Erb; music/music supervisor, Larry Goldings; production designer, Katie Byron; art director, Alexi Gomez; set decorator, Rachael Ferrara; costume designer, Christina Mongini; sound (Dolby Digital), William MacPherson; supervising sound editors, Jesse Pomeroy, Paul Stanley; re-recording mixer, Andy Hay; associate producers, Julia Oh, Heather Marion; assistant director, Sean Vawter; casting, Marla Garlin.

With: Steve Agee, Hope Dworaczyk, Jeff Garlin, Gina Gershon, Jami Gertz, Ian Gomez, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Richard Kind, Bob Odenkirk, Timothy Olyphant, Alex Puccinelli, David Sheridan, JB Smoove, Nia Vardalos, Fred Willard.

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