Director: Susan Stroman
A few years back, Mel Brooks turned his original 1968 master comedy about an unlikely duo who band together to make a fortune producing the worst Broadway musical ever into a successful stage musical starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. Since the stage debut, Lane and Broderick have quickly become this generation’s own Lemmon and Matthau. The success of bringing the hit Broadway musical to film is on a sliding scale that I’d imagine goes over much better if you haven’t seen either the stage version or the classic original with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder and have nothing which to compare. Lane and Broderick seem a bit tired by the time they’ve been placed in front of the camera, having performed the show countless times with much enthusiasm on the stage and at first, the film is a bit awkward and painful to watch as Lane mugs in a performance so large it’s better suited to the stage, until he settles in and brings it down a notch to bearable. Amazingly, Broderick and Lane become a bit dull as the show wears on but the supporting players all steal their scenes and much credit is due to Will Ferrell who had audiences roaring so loudly that I had a hard time understanding the dialogue.