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The Producers (PG-13)

Release Date: December 16th, 2005 (NYC)
December 25th, 2005 (Wider)
January 13th, 2005 (Wide) by Universal Pictures.
The Cast: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrel, Gary Beach, Roger Bart.
Directed by Susan Stroman.

BASIC PREMISE: Accountant Leo Bloom (Broderick) convinces Max Bialystock (Lane) to get rich by producing Springtime for Hitler . ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: From first frame to last, The Producers shines with abundant comic energy and colorful characters. When you first meet Max Bialystock, he’s literally on top a rich old lady in hopes of her funding his show. To his great fortune, Leo Bloom immediately rescues him with an outrageous scheme to get rich: produce a cheap musical destined to flop and collect the surplus after investors contribute more money than required to fund the production. What ensues is silly, offensive, and downright crazy, but it’s all endlessly funny thanks to the talented cast. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, both from the Broadway show, play off of each other very well as Max and Leo. Leo has a nervous tick—he uses a blue handkerchief whenever he’s under a lot of stress. Once they find a perfectly-bad playwright, Franz Liebkind (Ferrel), a neo-Nazi who writes Springtime for Hitler , a musical that celebrates and mocks Hitler. Will Ferrel is nothing short of hilarious as he makes Max and Leo take Nazi oaths and wear swastikas. Other quirky characters include Roger (Beach), the director, and his assistant Carmen (Bart). Uma Thurman takes a while to show up as sexy Ulla as a dim-witted secretary who ends up painting the entire office—couch and all—in white. Fortunately, the many lively musical numbers don’t feel out-of-place among all of the dialogue. Not surprisingly, Max and Leo’s plans don’t go exactly as planned. For those who are unfamiliar with the Broadway show or the original film (both directed by Mel Brooks), it’s best not to ruin what exactly ends up happening—but it’s quite funny and bizarre. With a fast pace and lots of attempts to make you laugh, you will forget that 2 hours and 14 minutes passed by the time The Producers is over—and you won’t even need an intermission.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Witty, lively, and full of comic energy with a talented cast that will keep you thoroughly entertained.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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