Blu-ray Review: All is Bright

Can you make a dark comedy that’s not all that dark, not all that funny with Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti in it? All is Bright is proof that you can throw good talent in a potentially funny situation and not be able to mine gold out of it.

It’s a simple premise. Dennis (Giamatti) just got out of prison and is trying to rebuild his life. His ex-wife (Amy Landacker) wants nothing to do with him and has told their daughter that he’s dead. She’s also sleeping with Dennis’s best friend and former partner (Paul Rudd), with whom Dennis opts to work for again. Instead of smash and grabs they’re in another racket: selling Christmas trees. Throw in a Russian maid (Sally Hawkins) as Dennis’s nominal love interest and you have all the requisites of a potentially funny (and really dark) comedy.

Unfortunately the film isn’t all that funny. Or dark.

All is Bright is trying to replicate the spirit of something close to The Ref but without any of the improvisational, manic energy from that film. Giamatti isn’t allowed to use his comic energy and Rudd sticks to the script, two killers of their comedic styles. This is a case of two actors going through the motions for a film destined to wind up in the “Christmas Classic” four-pack DVD, the one film no one has seen mixed in with The Ref, Ice Harvest and Bad Santa at big box stores everywhere.

No extras beside the trailer are included.

Anchor Bay presents All is Bright . Directed by Phil Morrison. Written by Melissa James Gibson. Starring Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti. Running time: 107 minutes. Rated R. Released: November 19, 2013

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