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Deal, The (DVD Review)

14 Dec, 2008 By: Billy Gil


Prebook 12/16/08; Street 1/20/09
Peace Arch
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for sexual content and language.
Stars William H. Macy, Meg Ryan, LL Cool J, Jason Ritter, Elliott Gould.

With an industry plagued by infighting and inflated egos, a sendup is always in order. The Deal, co-written by and starring William H. Macy, is the latest entry into a genre that spans from classics such as Sunset Blvd. to modern hits such as Tropic Thunder.

Macy plays failed producer Charlie Berns, a recluse in search of a hit. Enter his nephew, played superbly by Ritter, who has written a thoughtful script about former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. Berns transforms the story into Ben Disraeli: Freedom Fighter, a ludicrous gun orgy starring action star Bobby Mason (LL Cool J), who has recently converted to Judaism. The point? To amuse the miserable Berns.

Based on a book by Peter Lefcourt, The Deal’s take on Hollywood seems authentic, having been crafted by several industry veterans.

More entertaining to most viewers will be the sparring between Macy and Meg Ryan as a hard-nosed studio executive who can’t help but be a little charmed by the sleazy Berns. Ryan is in all of her Sally glory here, liberated from Hollywood dreck such as The Women to play a woman who, well, helps make Hollywood dreck happen.

Macy, Ryan and LL Cool J appear in a making-of featurette.

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