CHRIS TOOKEY: Odds are you won"t like this unfunny screwball comedy caper


Odds are you won't like this unfunny screwball comedy caper

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UPDATED:

00:53 GMT, 22 June 2012

Lay The Favorite (15)

Verdict: Don't bet on it being a winner


The 'bubbly' Rebecca Hall can't save this screwball comedy

The 'bubbly' Rebecca Hall can't save this screwball comedy

This unfunny screwball comedy caper is one of Stephen Frears’s least distinguished films, and the only reason to see it is a bubbly performance by Rebecca Hall, adventurously cast as an ex-stripper who turns gambler.

But even though Hall is endearingly enthusiastic, it’s hard to care if her character wins through.

The film moves at a frenzied pace and bursts with colourful caricatures played by Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vince Vaughn, but never springs into life.

The tone feels wrong — too much like a mannered, overlit TV sitcom, not enough like a feature film displaying a hidden, murky world of gamblers and conmen. Frears did it all so much better in The Grifters.