Like Adam Sandler, writer/director/comedian Jeff Garlin makes movies merely to hang out with his funny friends and a camera—and, like Sandler, he barely bothers to create a character for himself.
In "Dealin' With Idiots," co-written with Peter Murrieta, the father and filmmaker plays a father and filmmaker who wants to make a movie about his son's baseball team. This isn't actually a movie about kiddie sports — it's a movie about Garlin interviewing the other parents and players to see if there's an interesting movie to be made at all. Answer: There isn't.
Like Little League at its worst, "Dealin' With Idiots," says more about the insane adults than the young athletes. Coach Bob Odenkirk rambles about beef goulash, dad Richard Kind shows off his hybrid Camry, and Garlin himself has a meltdown when the commissioner gets mad at him for hugging his son. (His hug rampage is a partial excuse to embrace a sexy nanny without wife Nia Vardelos getting angry, which, naturally, she still does.)
Despite Gina Gershon and Kerri Kinney perking things up as lesbian mothers who insist their child not be played in the film by "one of those Will Smith kids," the heavily improvised flick ambles as slowly as a toddler rounding first base. Hopefully, Garlin's next movie bothers to include a plot and jokes, i.e. the essential building blocks of a comedy.
"Dealin' With Idiots"
Rating: No MPAA rating
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Playing at" Sundance Sunset 5, Los AngelesCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times