Aaron Eckhart Is BILLSeptember 07, 2011

Aaron Eckhart Is BILL

Gravitas

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: MEET BILL (Gravitas).


MEET BILL
By Joe Charnitski

 

Many movies have centered on an upper middle class, lower middle aged man arriving at the point in his life when he realizes his marriage, his job, his habits and his lack of self-confidence all add up to a pointless, sad routine. He wonders, “What happened to me?”. You know the guy. He has more memories than dreams. He longs for the days when his wife was the wild child he met many years ago. He’s shocked when he sees himself on videotape and his overgrown gut dominates the frame. He’s also the title character in the comedy MEET BILL.

 



Aaron Eckhart (THE DARK KNIGHT, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) plays Bill, the insecure, candy obsessed EVP of Human Resources at the bank his father-in-law owns. That’s the only way he secured the job, of course. His wife Jess (Elizabeth Banks) has no respect for him, his brother-in-law (who also works at the bank) openly mocks and degrades him and his father-in-law can barely stand the disappointing sight of him. Things only get worse for Bill when he secretly tapes Jess having a tryst with local newsman Chip Johnson (Timothy Olyphant), and making jokes about her husband’s “little acorn.” Ouch. Encouraged by the prep school teenager (who remains unnamed throughout) he has agreed to mentor, our hero attempts to transform his look, his luck and his life.

 



Like many moviegoers, my first exposure to Aaron Eckhart

was in the role of Chad in Neil LaBute’s dark comedy

IN THE COMPANY OF MEN.

Bill is exactly the kind of man Chad would hate

(and then cruelly manipulate and take advantage of).

 

In the role of Chad, Eckhart was mean and brutal, but not without charm and the ability to make you laugh against your will. In the role of Bill, Eckhart seems uncomfortable and unsure. He tries too hard to play the schlub, just contorting his face and slouching a lot. He’s supposed to be a unique, lovable loser we all rally behind. Instead, he’s just sad, and he doesn’t make us laugh very much at all.

 

I’m not blaming Eckhart for the failings of this film. The laughs are few and far between and the characters flimsy. It plays like a rehash of AMERICAN BEAUTY, including a lead character who decides to get in shape, gains wisdom from a teenage sidekick and rediscovers the joys of marijuana. Oh, and there’s a gay couple, too. By the time the movie takes it’s unavoidable turn towards a life affirming message the viewers have most likely already checked out and wont receive the uplift.

 



Jessica Alba (LITTLE FOCKERS, THE LOVE GURU) co-stars as a lingerie store clerk who’s being wooed by Bill’s prep school kid. He buys sexy underwear at her store and reveals that it’s actually a gift for her. I’m sure if Jessica Alba worked at a lingerie store she would have heard that line about six-thousand times, but it’s supposed to charm her here.

 



While the film does include a couple of gratuitous scenes of beautiful women in their skivvies, if you’re hoping to see Alba saunter about in sultry lingerie, prepare to be disappointed. Add it to the list of many disappointments you’ll have with MEET BILL. Simply put, you should Skip It.

 

SKIP IT

 

Joe Charnitski

- Joe Charnitski
Joe Charnitski is a new contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. His career in film and television production, development and marketing has included stops at Miramax Films, Syfy and VH1. He currently works at a entertainment focused social media marketing agency in New York City. Twitter: @JoeCharnitski

 

Look for MEET BILL (Gravitas) under your cable system's Movie On Demand section.


 

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