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MOVIE REVIEW

'Bob Funk'

Michael Leydon Campbell stars in Craig Carlisle's tale of an emotionally bruised guy who turns himself around -- like the film. With Rachael Leigh Cook.

February 27, 2009|Gary Goldstein

If you can get through the tedious first half of "Bob Funk," there's actually a decent little character study waiting on the other side. It's a lot to ask, though, because watching the film's obnoxious title character (Michael Leydon Campbell) self-destruct for nearly an hour in a haze of booze, one-night stands and vile manners is not only unpleasant but also, for an intended comedy, exceedingly unfunny.

However, once Bob hits bottom after being demoted from sales VP to janitor at the futon store run by his tough-love mom (a terrific Grace Zabriskie), he starts turning around his life -- and the movie along with it. From here on, it's actually possible to feel sympathy for this messed-up guy, whose emotional wounds from an unfaithful ex-wife, a father he lost in childhood and a controlling mother flesh out the hair-trigger Bob in believable, occasionally affecting ways.

Still, writer-director Craig Carlisle bogs down too much of the film's slim story with Bob's irritating rants and banal philosophizing. This often overshadows the capable cast (which also includes Rachael Leigh Cook as a klutzy young executive who turns Bob's head, and Eddie Jemison as Bob's needy co-worker brother) as well as Carlisle's amusingly off-kilter portrayal of workplace dynamics.

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'Bob Funk'

MPAA rating: R for language and sexual content

Running time: 1 hour, 46 minutes

Playing: At Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500

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