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Extract

Year: 2009
Production Co: Ternion Pictures
Director: Mike Judge
Writer: Mike Judge
Cast: Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kirsten Wiig, J K Simmons, Ben Affleck, David Koechner, T J Miller, Gene Simmons

There were plenty of laughs in this film, but the story just didn't have enough of a sense of presence. Stuff happened and the characters went through arcs, but none of it seemed to add up to much or matter.

Joel (Bateman) runs a successful business bottling a plant extract and his life is one nightmare after another. His wife (Wiig) hasn't slept with him for months, and it turns out she might even be having affairs, as he discovers when he pays a dumb young himbo to try and seduce her.

An accident at the plant results in an impending lawsuit that might scuttle plans to sell off the business at a tidy profit, and at the same time a beautiful, scheming woman (Kunis) comes into Joel's life as a temp at the factory who threatens to cause even more damage.

None of those plot strands or the characters that populate them stand out very strongly, and maybe if Judge had played it all for broader comedy like Bateman's recent films such as Horrible Bosses and The Change-Up it might have had more to offer.

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