In the gut-bustingly funny 1992 episode ”The Bubble Boy,” Seinfeld tiptoed on the bad-taste borderline by depicting the immunity-free title character as a surly adult whose face was never shown on camera. It’s a measure of Bubble Boy’s clanking literal-mindedness that its hero, Jimmy Livingston (Jake Gyllenhaal), is a naive man-child whose plight is simultaneously mocked and sentimentalized.
First-time director Blair Hayes and writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio send Jimmy on a cross-country trip to stop his girl-next-door love (Marley Shelton, a Heather Graham without the gravitas) from marrying another guy. Along the way, the filmmakers not only insult people with immunodeficiency disorders, but also spew out grotesque stereotypes of Christians, Jews, Latinos, Asians, and sideshow performers. After enduring only a few minutes of this shrill debacle, you’ll feel more trapped in the theater than Jimmy is by his bubble.