Review: It’s a rough landing for Domhnall Gleeson in comedy ‘Crash Pad’
A plucky ensemble fails to elevate “Crash Pad,” a forced, formulaic revenge comedy about an obnoxious slacker whose new housemate turns out to be the husband of his older ex-mistress.
Meet Stensland (Domhnall Gleeson), a lanky Irish ex-pat antique store employee who has just been kicked to the curb by his fling, Morgan (Christina Applegate), a business exec who turns out not to be separated from her neglectful husband, Grady (Thomas Haden Church).
Feeling seduced and abandoned, the still-smitten Stensland takes refuge in the dozens of “Dawson’s Creek” episodes he has on VHS, until Grady suddenly shows up at his door hell-bent on living as a hard-partying bachelor.
It’s the kind of stuff that demands a nimbly-paced, crisply-balanced touch, but both the script by Jeremy Catalino and direction by Kevin Tent, Alexander Payne’s go-to editor, strain at irreverence at every heavy-handed turn.
The stubbornly unfunny result leaves the normally engaging, in-demand Gleeson, whose recent output includes “American Made” and “mother!” and the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” struggling to coax a modicum of empathy out of a character that would have been in Tom Green’s wheelhouse. Likewise squandered are the rest of the cast, including Nina Dobrev as Applegate’s assistant and character actor Julian Christopher as Billy Ocean. Yep, Billy Ocean.
Rating: R, for strong crude sexual content, language, some nudity, drug use and alcohol abuse.
Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Playing: AMC Town Center 8, Burbank
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