26 February 2001 | baker-9
Awful Attempt At Dark Comedy
Thomas Berger's unique sense of back humor has not adapted well to the movies. "Little Big Man" is still the best adaptation of his work, but that movie's tone is suffused with much 1960's anti-war sentiment. "Neighbors" became a loud, unfunny comedy scripted to accommodate the styles of Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, and was a big failure.
As a film, "The Feud" is like an amateurish "Neighbors" with a low budget and much overacting on the part of the cast, particularly Rene Auberjonois, Gayle Mayron, Joe Grifasi, and Stanley Tucci - none of whom are remotely amusing. The director Bill D'Elia has done mostly TV series, and he certainly doesn't have the proper offbeat sensibility (or the directorial technique) to pull off this very difficult kind of black comedy. But then, very few people do. Even David Lynch has struck out on occasion. Perhaps Berger's fiction is best left on the printed page.