Movie Review: Unfinished Business
By Matthew Huntley
March 11, 2015
Each of these characters is essentially written as an archetype, although Dan is the only one who seems halfway believable. He’s your typical straight man with a loving wife (June Diane Raphael), an adolescent son (Britton Sear) with self-esteem issues, and a younger daughter (Ella Anderson) who’s acting out at school. Dan is basically a loving husband and father who’s trying to solve his family’s problems in addition to his own, but naturally his home and career lives are odds with each other and feels he’s being pulled in too many directions to be entirely effective. One of the movie’s better scenes finds Dan admitting he’s not sure he’s got what it takes to bear the responsibilities of all the different roles he plays and that giving up often seems like the most appealing option.
It’s a shame the movie didn’t have more moments like this, which actually rang of truth. Instead, it goes off the deep end with Tim and Mike, who prove to be distractions instead of assets. The script paints Tim as a horny old man who does sleazy things like cheat on his wife with call girls. He also has an insatiable need to take drugs and engage in other debauchery. Why Wilkinson, an otherwise gifted, sophisticated actor, chose to play this role is perplexing to say the least.
Franco, meanwhile, has the thankless task of playing Mike as an excessively slow, dimwitted virgin who’s so dense and uneducated that he doesn’t know the difference between a square and a rectangle, or how to pronounce “imperative.” His idiocy is too over-the-top to believe. To Franco’s credit, he seems too smart to convince us he’s so dumb.
The plot finds Dan, Tim and Mike embarking on an extended road trip, first to Maine then to Germany, for a “final handshake” meeting between their company and a prospective big client. Of course, roadblocks ensue, and we can believe any small business would face its share of problems; what we can’t believe are this movie’s problems. They’re too outrageous for their own good, so much, in fact, we wonder if Seth Rogen contributed to the script.
I could buy some of the dilemmas, like Dan and his team getting lost because their GPS system is in German, or the characters having to settle for unorthodox accommodations because all the local hotels are booked. What I couldn’t believe was Dan, Tim and Mike entering a German steam house, getting naked, and presenting their figures to a female business analyst; or them going to a gay night club where penises hang outside the urinal doors; or their car flipping over to avoid a reindeer.
Two entirely different types of comedies seem to be at play here - one that’s relatively grounded and halfway amusing, and another that’s completely farfetched and excessively lewd. Unfortunately, the latter ends up overshadowing the former and occupies most of the lean, 90-minute runtime. What we’re left with is a pointless, inutile comedy that I’m guessing not too many will ever see or hear about in the first place. The cast and filmmakers should take that as a blessing.