The Layover (R)

Comedy 88 min. September 1, 2017
By Chris Packham
Early in his career, William H. Macy co-founded the St. Nicholas Theater Company with David Mamet, and gave acclaimed performances in such plays as American Buffalo and The Water Engine. It's probably thanks to this finely honed theatrical sensibility that the Macy-directed The Layover lacks an outfit-swapping shopping montage. But there's no getting around the zany hot-air balloon ride.

Lifelong friends Meg (Kate Upton) and Kate (Alexandra Daddario) book a spontaneous tropical holiday flight that gets diverted to St. Louis because of a hurricane. So instead, they decide to trash their whole friendship in a degrading war over their hot seatmate Ryan (Matt Barr).

To accept these characters, you have to suspend your disbelief and any knowledge about real-life women and the things they say and think and do. Meg is a slobby free spirit and Kate is a fussy square, so early on, you might think, "Oh, this is just a gender-swapped Odd Couple." But by the time the film smears Daddario around the floor of a filthy gas station men's room and then drops her in a pile of garbage, you're like, "Fuck The Layover and fuck movies in general. From now on, I'm listening to radio dramas."

It's completely unfair to compare these characters to (say) Abbi and Ilana on Broad City, funny women who derive dignity from their friendship. But that's a show written, created and performed by women, while this film's creative trust is a clueless, retrograde sausage festivus. For writers David Hornsby and Lance Krall, these characters are less like women and more like betta fish they can drop into the same tank to watch them rip each other apart.
William H. Macy Kate Upton, Alexandra Daddario, Matt Barr, Matt Jones, Molly Shannon, Kal Penn, Bob Corddry David Hornsby, Lance Krall Keith Kjarval, Aaron L. Gilbert Vertical Entertainment

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