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perhaps if the impostors didn't have so much going for it , it wouldn't have been such a tremendous disappointment .
written , directed , and produced by one of its two stars , stanley tucci , whose last picture was the indie smash hit , big night , the impostors almost never catches fire .
sputtering like a two-day old campfire , the story plays like an ad-lib sketch that was never polished or completed .
the film's other star , oliver platt , was hilarious as the senator's aide in bulworth .
the bloated supporting cast is a veritable cornucopia of acting talent , including woody allen , steve buscemi , hope davis , alfred molina , campbell scott , lili taylor and tony shalhoub .
all are wasted save allen , who plays a theatrical director who stares in disbelief at the bad acting before his eyes .
( the audience will easily identify with allen's sentiments . )
with the exception of a single original joke involving mirror-imaged subtitles , the movie engenders little genuine laughter .
the stale humor is so embarrassingly bad that you will find yourself laughing sporadically at the picture rather than with it .
the plot for the movie involves two starving actors , maurice ( oliver platt ) and arthur ( stanley tucci ) , who accidentally end up on a cruise ship .
in order to escape an angry shakespearean actor ( alfred molina ) , who is chasing them , they dress up as ship's stewards .
the over-the-top script has the subtlety of a sledgehammer .
when the leads hide from their pursuers , arthur covers maurice's mouth as he suffers an unending sneeze .
at other times , we have the typical zany comedy routine where everyone chases everyone else , while darting in and out of staterooms .
with the film's chapters introduced like placards at a vaudeville stage , it is clear the movie wants to be taken as farce .
the press notes describes how everyone that came on the set remarked at what a good time all of the actors were having .
too bad they weren't more concerned with the audience's potential enjoyment .
the jokes , frequently framed in silence , fall like stones with such intensity that one can almost hear them hitting the ground .
one wonders if anyone ever viewed the film's dailies .
surely , if they had , they would have realized what leaden results they were producing .
it is tricky having good actors play bad ones , but , if they couldn't pull it off , they should have just given up .
" the show is over for this fella , " steve buscemi's character says towards the end .
the mystery is why they didn't all give up in the beginning .
there must have been a better script somewhere for such a wonderful cast .
the impostors runs 1 : 42 .
it is rated r for a little profanity and would be fine for kids around 12 and up .