Movies

Michael McKean, Woody Harrelson, ...
C

The Grand

Genre: Comedy; Starring: Woody Harrelson, Cheryl Hines; Director: Zak Penn; Author: Zak Penn; Runtime (in minutes): 104; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment

A far-too-wacky Christopher Guest knockoff. It’s obvious that The Grand’s director, Zak Penn, set out to make the Best in Show of high-stakes poker, but to raise the ante, he piles up the absurdities and zany backstories — half the movie is zany backstory — so that the characters are never more than the sum of their (overstated) quirks. The cast is game, however. Woody Harrelson as a drug addict out to rescue the family casino, Cheryl Hines as a Long Island hausfrau, Richard Kind as a nerd savant — each of these improv farceurs wins a few laughs. But not enough. C

Originally posted March 26 2008 — 12:00 AM EDT

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