March 26, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Grand

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
104 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/21/08
performer
Woody Harrelson, Cheryl Hines
director
Zak Penn
distributor
Anchor Bay Entertainment
author
Zak Penn
genre
Comedy
We gave it a C

A far-too-wacky Christopher Guest knockoff. It’s obvious that The Grand‘s director, Zak Penn, set out to make the Best in Show of high-stakes poker, but to raise the ante, he piles up the absurdities and zany backstories — half the movie is zany backstory — so that the characters are never more than the sum of their (overstated) quirks. The cast is game, however. Woody Harrelson as a drug addict out to rescue the family casino, Cheryl Hines as a Long Island hausfrau, Richard Kind as a nerd savant — each of these improv farceurs wins a few laughs. But not enough. C

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