I have to admit, the first time I saw any incarnation of The Producers
, it featured Larry David as Max Bialystock. In the fourth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm
, Mel Brooks (playing himself) casts Larry in the musical, attempting to kill off his franchise. But as is demonstrated in the plot of The Producers
, no matter how hard one strives for failure, unwanted success can always find them. There' no such danger of unwanted success here, as the main problem with the latest screen version of The Producers
is that it appears to be trying too hard.
As it did on Broadway, this manifestation features Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane playing Leopold Bloom and Max Bialystock, respectfully. Leopold, the quirky nervous accountant, discovers that Max could make more money by producing a musical that flops than one that' a smash hit. So the desperate veteran hatches his scheme and searches for the worst play he can find. With Leopold' help, Max comes across
Springtime For Hitler
, a ridiculous celebration of the wonderful world of Nazis. Will Ferrell plays the German who wrote the musical and is priceless with his Nazi messenger pigeons. Then Max and Leo recruit Roger DeBries (Gary Beach), the gayer-than-your-gay-cousin director to take the reins of their disaster. Beach' is possibly the strongest performance of the whole group-and he has the Tony to prove it. Enter Uma Thurman, who plays Ula, the Swedish secretary/actress with gibberish for a last name and enough T&A to make me forget her so-so singing.