Glover, David Paymer,Glenne Headly, Maury Chaykin, and Joe Piscopo.
Directed by: Jonathon Parker
know you know the name 'Bartleby'
.it's the "other"
story by Moby Dick author Herman Melville; 'Bartleby the Scrivener'.
It was a short story and should have been a short film
it's not it's an hour and a half of you waiting for the thing
to go somewhere. Dear God how can a premise go so wrong? A phrase
become so maddening? A film so off?
cast is precious; Crispin Glover plays Bartleby, David Paymer
his jovial boss, and his coworkers are deliciously served up by
Glenne Headley, Joe Piscopo, and Maury Chaykin. Too bad they don't
have anything worthy of their talents to do...
even my undying love for Crispin Glover's, shall we say, unique
aura and piercing stare and my deep affection for his continually
signature quirky quasi-mad genius deliveries couldn't assist in
the tedium of his character's continual quipping of the one line
"I'd prefer not to."
annoying was this phrasing after its 4356th delivery it became
a dreaded event not unlike aural nails upon a board within my
fragile skull. Yep, the film maker and scripters (Jonathan Parker
and Catherine DiNapoli) rework of the classic short tale made
a gigantic verbal faux pas stepping well over the line of clever
joke wink-wink, " Isn't that a hoot to see Glover deliver!"
To, " DEAR God if Crispy says that friggin' sentence one
more time I am pitching a tizzy tent against this thing!"
did, and here's my tizzy tent! Having Crispin as the quirky Bartleby
got me to the film, I am that shallow I am afraid to say. I sat
awaiting what he'd serve up anxiously
However, within 35
tedious minutes I wanted to speed slap the director who I pictured
looking like Ed Grimmley holding his groin to prevent an "accident"
from laughter each time Glover said those now infamous words "I'd
prefer not to."
Parker I tried to enjoy your film, but unfortunately a funny phrase
does not a film make. We needed some more guts to the blah-blah-blah
film follows the short and ominous career path of Bartleby an
ex-postal worker (ha-ha knee-slap) and present filing clerk for
a depressing office. He is, at first, the quintessential do-good
employee. But when his boss (David Paymer) asks for a simple shift
of job duties another side of the chap is shown. He just will
not comply. For example he refuses to witness and sign an affidavit
sheet or even lend a (literal) finger to help with a package's
ornamental bow....he prefers not to.
boss is too afraid to fire Bartleby since he's the "new"
boss and wouldn't want to look as if the position is too much
for him to handle. So he gives in to many of Bartleby's
annoying ridiculous idiosyncrasies.
sleepless nights and (hysterical) nightmares starring Bartleby,
the Boss figures the best way out for all concerned...
end is dramatic and far fetched even for a farcical tale such
as this. And considering how we indulged the writers their tedious
little tale we deserved no demanded some grandiose
payoff; a cerebral severance check of tremendous proportions for
our valuable (wasted) time. Some parts are very funny but
none cause all-out-snorts and NONE actually warrant viewing -
sorry. Perhaps if this was a tight short film?
positive note to the film was a great odd performance by Maury
Chaykin. He's one of the fore mentioned coworkers in Bartleby's
odd little office. Chaykin delivers some of the funniest lines
and one grew positively desperate for his scenes to come up
keep you awake, to keep you childlike with hope, nay, dreams of
the thing switching to become a watchable film.
on the positive side was its look. Bartleby is a very 'neat' looking
film. The sets and costumes very well presented. Bartleby has
a wonderful style.
If you're a Crispin fan go ahead, I know I can't stop you, who
could resist? I mean he is as eerily handsome as ever and spews
his brand of signature weird on cue like verbal heroin but truly
this is one bad film folks. Recommend this film? I'd prefer
NoDoz, black coffee and stop by Blockbuster and get a "Crispin
Classic" Rubin and Ed rental for later