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Lost & Found
1999 - PG-13 - 95 Mins.
Director: Jeff Pollack
Producer: Wayne Rice
Written By: David Spade , J.B. Cook , Marc Meeks
Starring: Patrick Bruel, Mitchell Whitfield, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Martin Sheen
Review by: John Ulmer
   
There seems to be some confusion about what is funny nowadays. Let me give filmmakers a clue. Funny Men Who Will Always Be Funny: Steve Martin, Bill Murray, John Candy, Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, et al. People Who Are Not and Never Will Be Funny: David Spade. Now that we have that out of the way, let's get on, shall we?

"Lost & Found" is a marginally funny movie that only has a few funny gags. It is more of a sitcom stretched out to full length than a full-length motion picture. There are conveniently close-living love interests. Poor characters live in luxurious apartments. The main characters all exchange lines we would expect their writers give them to say, and nothing realistic. This is beginning to sound like "Friends the Movie"...

And there is a certain problem with enlisting David Spade as a romantic lead. 1. He's a snotty little swine who, I think, many women would hate and not adore. 2. He's annoying, and his humor is contradictory, making everything he says a contradiction. Which means when he wants to express his love to a woman, "I hate you" is the best choice.

But let's be honest, can you imagine David Spade as a woman charmer? Me, neither. Let's just say love, subtlety and truth are not his expertise. In my opinion, David Spade is not a funny guy. New(er) comedians like Adam Sandler at least have the visible urge to be funny, a sense of liveliness and joy. David Spade has neither. He just stands there, cracks badly-written lines in bad monotone, and expects us to laugh; what's it all about, David?

"Lost & Found" is about an Italian restaurant owner named Dylan (Spade), who is not Italian, but expects his patrons to ignore this. Dylan maintains a failing restaurant downtown, where he walks about and cracks jokes to the guests in his restaurant and scares little children. Dylan has a big future somewhere. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be on this planet.

One day, after losing his clothes in a game of strip poker with a gang of old women, Dylan sees a beautiful woman (Sophie Marceau) living a few apartments down from him, playing an instrument and sitting by a window at night so naked men like Dylan can stand right outside, stare at her, and not be seen. We know there's going to be a joke about people walking outside their rooms and seeing Dylan, and - oh, here it is. Big surprise: It's handled badly, it's not funny, and the people who spotted Dylan have no urge to call the police. Why? Easy: They're written characters just there for a cheap gag. No characters seem to make up their own choices. There's a bad case of Scripteritis and Writtenmonia in this film.

In hopes of getting closer to the beautiful woman, Dylan decides to kidnap her small dog. He then shows up at her house and helps her search for the vicious animal. This goes on for a while, giving Dylan a chance to grow closer to Marceau. I do not know why Marceau's character would ever feel anything for Dylan, who parades around like a little brat throwing insults at her old boyfriend like, "I'm a local yokel" (har-har).

"Lost & Found" seems to want to be another "There's Something About Mary," but it's lacking everything, right down to its obvious rip-off of the dog (which bears a startling resemblance to the canine in "Mary"). "Mary" might have been a conveniently written comedy, but we cared enough for the characters and laughed enough at the jokes that we didn't care. There are no strong laughs in "Lost & Found," and we don't care for the characters. And as we await the occasional chuckle, the convenience of the script becomes more and more apparent, as do the major flaws the film has. If "There's Something About Mary" was the best of the sitcom comedies, "Lost & Found" is at the bottom of the barrel.

And for further notice, here are other comedians who are not funny: Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Norm Macdonald, Colin Quinn, Rob Schneider, Jimmy Fallon.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

 
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