Film

Even Worse than the New Indiana Jones Movie

Meet Bill Is Junk

Among the least attractive scenes in Meet Bill: Aaron Eckhart shaving every last inch of his body hair in the shower of a public pool and Jessica Alba giggling appreciatively as a 15-year-old boy in women's lingerie gives her a private striptease. But these insults to comedy are at least memorable. The rest of the film is just a bland stretch of sitcom-quality photography illustrating a junk script.

Eckhart plays Bill, an untalented, candy bar–addicted schlub who has married into wealth and been given a vice-presidency (read: glorified internship) at the family bank. His blond wife, Jess (Elizabeth Banks), subsists on sparkling water and the sexual attentions of Chip (Timothy Olyphant), a local newscaster. Since Bill is employed by her father, she's unconcerned when he confronts her with evidence of her affair—until the sex tape ends up on the internet. Meanwhile, Bill has agreed to mentor a student (Logan Lerman) at his prep-school alma mater.

Though at first it seems as though this mentorship was concocted by screenwriter Melisa Wallack in order to inspire Bill to new heights of assertiveness and maturity, it soon becomes clear that the actual function of the miniature frat boy is to help his mentor spy on his wife from the yard, climb the wall at an outdoor equipment store while baked, get dates with Jessica Alba and her girlfriends, do dangerous things with firecrackers, and use a golf cart as an emergency vehicle. Getting Bill to take on increased levels of personal responsibility is left to Bill's brother's boyfriend, who takes him to the swimming pool every morning until, one day, he inexplicably turns on him. (Homosexuals are like that—petty and jealous.) If this part of the story sounds pointless, wait until you see the ending, which resembles one of those pork-barrel bridges to nowhere: It's artless and abrupt, and once you lay eyes on it, you feel totally cheated. recommended

annie@thestranger.com

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