Jokes, anger and sentimentality mix uneasily in comedian Adam Carolla's directorial debut (with co-writer Kevin Hench), "Road Hard." Carolla plays embittered, divorced, near-has-been stand-up Bruce Madsen, once the co-host of a hit TV show but since sidelined to the lonely, city-hopping club grind.
He'd quit if it weren't the only sure, steady thing in a life whose irritants and indignities fuel a steady stream of cutting one-liners about money woes (a daughter going to college), professional jealousy (
As with any comedian-driven set-up, the bits and one-liners hit and miss, with the easy target gags — about airplanes, hotels, ex-wives and sex — more often falling flat. It's the movie's slow drift toward happiness, though, when Bruce meets a widow (
For those brief moments, the otherwise routine "Road Hard" doesn't feel like an act.
MPAA rating: Unrated.
Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes.