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Woes of the rich in 'Excuse Me for Living'

October 11, 2012|By Robert Abele
  • Christopher Lloyd and Jerry Stiller in "Excuse Me for Living."
Christopher Lloyd and Jerry Stiller in "Excuse Me for Living." (Handout )

"Excuse Me for Living" is a problems-of-the-rich comedy that only an old, out-of-touch billionaire could love.

Writer/director Ric Klass' story about a drug-addicted, jerkish twentysomething (Tom Pelphrey) who falls for the sexually promiscuous daughter (Melissa Archer) of his court-appointed doctor (Robert Vaughn) depicts today's youth as reckless and ungrateful, the older generation as wise and worth heeding.

Pelphrey's suicidal med school dropout is forced by Vaughn's Dr. Bernstein to attend a seniors group therapy meeting (which includes a role for Jerry Stiller) to ostensibly benefit from their collective wisdom. A supporting story line sees a ruthless divorce attorney (Ewa Da Cruz) fall for a drippy, gray-haired, classical scholar (James McCaffrey) because he knows so much about ancient Greece.

Vaguely misogynistic and defiantly paternalistic, the movie fails at nearly everything — comic tone, sex gags, charm, logic, direction of actors — save for preserving the slightest glimmer in Vaughn's cool demeanor that suggests he wishes he were anywhere else.

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"Excuse Me for Living." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes. At Laemmle's Town Center 5, Encino.

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