The perfect entry point to the story is found in Tony Bosch, an unlicensed Key Biscayne growth hormone peddler and a true character (the role would be a natural for Ben Stiller or Oscar Isaac if they ever do a studio version) who built up a loyal clientele of professional athletes, most notoriously former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez.
Trading off narrator duties with Bosch, whose anti-aging clinics shared space with a chain of tanning salons, is Porter Fischer, a “professional tanner” who would ultimately take down Bosch, and Tim Elfrink, the then-Miami New Times journalist whose resulting exposé would rip the lid off one of the greatest controversies in MLB history.
Corben sees fit to throw a bizarre change-up by implementing dramatic reenactments in which the roles of Bosch, Fischer, Elfrink and A-Rod, among others, are played by look-alike kids who lip-sync portions of the recounting à la Michael Peña in the “Ant-Man” movies.
Inevitably, the oddball Elmore Leonard-meets-the Little Rascals conceit loses some of its wacky effectiveness, but while Corben might not hit this one out of the park, “Screwball” energetically rounds the bases.
Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Playing: Starts Friday, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills