March 16, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

If Kevin Spacey had a gangly nerd cousin who did an impersonation of Jack Lemmon at his most hyper-fastidious, he might come off something like Douglas McGrath, the cowriter, codirector, and star of Company Man. McGrath’s Allen Quimp is a prissy, harmless geek — a grammar teacher who somehow lands a job as a CIA operative, only to end up in Cuba on the eve of the Castro revolution. If you’ve always longed to see a Cold War satire done in the hit-’em-over-the-head frantic-camp mode of Love, American Style, then Company Man is the movie for you.

McGrath is so infatuated with his own highly telegraphed silliness that even his wildest gags feel mothballed. The roster of supporting zanies includes John Turturro as a macho anticommie hysteric, Alan Cumming as General Batista (surprise! — he plays him as an adorable fey imp), and an unbilled Woody Allen as a beret-wearing CIA veteran who’ll do anything to get out of Cuba. By the end, you may feel the same way.

type
Movie
Genre
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
95 minutes
director
Peter Askin,
Douglas McGrath
Studio
Intermedia Films,
Paramount Classics
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