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‘The Late Bloomer’ ups the raunch, but it's not very funny

‘The Late Bloomer’ ups the raunch, but it's not very funny
Johnny Simmons and Maria Bello in the movie "The Late Bloomer." (Momentum Pictures)

If "The Late Bloomer" were 94 minutes of banter between supporting players Kumail Nanjiani and Beck Bennett, it'd be one of the year's more purely enjoyable, if quite dirty, comedies.

Whether their delivery elevates the script or their improvisation improves it, they almost make the film worth watching. However, the lead performance from a miscast Johnny Simmons makes up the bulk of this largely unfunny comedy directed by actor Kevin Pollak in his narrative debut.

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The plot behind "The Late Bloomer" is so goofy that it could only have been born out of a true story. Based on E! journalist Ken Baker's autobiography, "Man Made: A Memoir of My Body," the comedy centers on 30-year-old sex therapist Pete (Simmons). He discovers that a tumor on his pituitary gland kept him from going through puberty, and once it's removed, he quickly experiences all the changes that teenagers go through over years in just weeks. Meanwhile, he can now finally act on his crush on his neighbor Michelle (Brittany Snow), if he can stave off the raging hormones, aggressive acne and cracking voice.

In addition to Nanjiani and Bennett as Pete's friends, the movie features Jane Lynch as his boss and J.K. Simmons and Maria Bello as his parents, as well as a few cameos. But even a talented cast can't overcome the script from five screenwriters, whose uneven final product is surprisingly bland for all its raunchiness.

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'The Late Bloomer'

MPAA Rating: R, for sexual content, nudity and language.

Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

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