Producer Robert Lantos spent 13 years trying to make a movie of Mordechai Richler's final novel, though the single best day may have been when he signed Paul Giamatti to play the grouchy, irrepressible title character. Barney Panofsky, producer of a long-running soap opera in Montreal, seethes at the recent publication of a true-crime book fingering him as the murderer of his dissolute old pal Boogie (Scott Speedman); this situation frames an extended series of flashbacks that chronicle his heedless pursuit of, life-altering marriage to, and anguished separation from the calm and ethereal Miriam (Rosamund Pike). Not having read the Richler novel, I can't comment on the movie's fidelity to it, but this has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length. Richard J. Lewis directed; with Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, and Bruce Greenwood.
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