ONE THING I HAVE LEARNED IS not every “idea thief” has malicious intentions. My first exposure to one of these thieves was at a job I had a long time ago. I was working on a project for my boss, coming up with a theme for a new line we were going to carry. It took me several weeks of work before I felt good about what I had created. One day, out of the blue, my boss emailed me a suggestion I should look at and incorporate into my work. His suggestion was something I was starting work on; I could not believe he had just come up with that idea! Well it turned out, thanks to a tipoff from a friend of mine at the company, an employee who was aware of my work went and offered to my boss the names he thought I should use in the product line. The same names I had already chosen; however, it would now look like this employee came up with these names instead of me. I was furious at this employee’s underhandedness. Looking at my options, there was no way I could go and explain the betrayal to my boss without looking petty; so, I went ahead with what I had created and made a mental note never to trust that employee again. FROM THAT EPISODE, ANYTIME I ENCOUNTERED an “identity thief” I stayed clear of them, having nothing to do with them unless it was business. It was not until I was working at a club where a new instructor came on staff and we became friends. She had a couple of body fitness classes but wanted to expand her options. After studying and getting certified as a cycle instructor, she started showing up in one of my classes. It was amusing the way she would take notes while working out with the class. Her dedication and work paid off finally when she was assigned one cycle class. I was not able to attend it to support her but a few days later a member came up to me to tell me about the class. The member told me the instructor had taught the class nearly identical to the way I taught class. She even used some of the same instructions I used when working with the members. I was shocked to hear it and decided to ask my friend about it. She told me she got so nervous she forgot the things she had planned on doing and simply repeated the steps she remembered I did. We talked further as she said she wanted to use some of my techniques because they were perfect cues; I suggested she change the verbiage, so the cues become hers instead of mine. Her goal was to teach a safe class, so there was nothing malicious about her actions; unlike one of the main characters in this comedy. WHEN AN OPPORTUNITY CAME TO HAVE a well-known cosmetics mogul invest in their company; best friends and owners Mel and Mia, played by Rose Bryne (Instant Family, Insidious franchise) and Tiffany Haddish (The Kitchen, Girls Trip), could not believe their good fortune. That is, until their new partner came up with her own ideas. With Salma Hayak (Savages, The Hummingbird Project) as Claire Luna, Billy Porter (American Horror Story-TV, Pose-TV) as Barrett and Jennifer Coolidge (A Mighty Wind, A Cinderella Story) as Sydney; this movie did not offer anything new or surprising. Tiffany was doing the exact same thing she does in each of her comedies; I cannot tell the difference between any of her characters. I grant you she certainly has her way in delivering lines; but when the lines are dull it becomes a chore. The script was done in such a basic, low level of comedy that I was bored through parts of the film. In fact, if you have seen the trailer you have seen this movie. Having taken common themes we have seen before, the writers did nothing new to make this a fresh take on friendship and money.
1 ½ stars
When you find someone who has the same type of humor and similar likes/dislikes as you, it feels like you two are members of a secret club. The two of you may have the opposite reaction to something compared to everyone else around you but it is fine; both of you are sharing the same thought which only strengthens the bond between you. There is a term called “thick as thieves” which means two or more people are very close or friendly, sharing secrets. The term is an informal version of “partners in crime.” Growing up I had a cousin who was my partner in crime. We would take dishwater detergent bottles, pour the contents into a bowl, then fill the bottles up with water to use them as squirt guns. Our neighbors’ kids thought we were weird until they got doused with a blast of water from our bottles; they were more powerful than the average squirt gun. Even in my adult life I have several friends who are like my partners in crime. There is one friend I enjoy going with to the theater because we have such similar tastes; we usually get the same reactions to the things we see up on stage. You may find us laughing or crying at a scene while the theater patrons around us remain blank and emotionless. At least we had each other; can you imagine what it would be like if you were with someone who did not get you? It would be awkward. OLIVER Whynacht, played by Jay Baruchel (This is the End, The Art of the Steal), inherited a funeral home that was nearly bankrupt. Things looked grim until mortician Roberta Knickle, played by Rose Bryne (Neighbors, This is Where I Leave You), found a way to increase the number of funerals at the home. This film festival winner was a twisted dark humored dramedy. Having been introduced to Rose in more current films, I enjoyed watching her in this older movie because it showed she had excellent comedic timing even back then. The cast, which also included Grahan Green (Dances with Wolves, The Green Mile) as Henry Sanipass and Nigel Bennett (Legends of the Fall, The Skulls) as Chief Knickle, was fine overall. As for the story it had a familiar vibe to it; I could predict what was going to happen in several scenes. Compared to other movies of a similar vein, I would have to say this was an average one. With this being a black comedy I would suggest you watch this DVD with someone who enjoys this type of humor; otherwise, they may sit there and think you are just odd. There were scenes with blood in them.
2 stars — DVD