Meet Bill
Directors: Bernie Goldmann, Melisa Wallack
Writer: Melisa Wallack
Producers: John Penotti, Matthew H. Rowland, Fisher Stevens
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Alba, Logan Lerman, Timothy Olyphant, Craig Bierko, Todd Louiso
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 97 min
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reviewed by Andrew James
      Half-witted comedies about mid-life crises and relationship disorders are a dime a dozen these days. And so ladies and gentlemen, Meet Bill.

      Bill (Eckhart) is an overworked 40-something with no future and who has become completely joyless with his personal life and his work life. Working for his father-in-law is drearily depressing and he's shat upon at every turn by co-workers and family. To make things worse, he's convinced that his wife (Banks) is cheating on him with the local news anchor (Olyphant). Setting up a hidden camera in his bedroom one afternoon confirms his suspicions and Bill goes into an even deeper funk and his wife goes so far as to turn the tables on Bill and make everything his fault.

      The rescue comes in the form of a 17 year-old student whom Bill is supposed to be mentoring. Instead of Bill mentoring the student however, Bill gets a life lesson in fun from the student. Oh how clever and unexpected!

      The only thing this movie really has going for it is some forgettable dialogue that although tedious, does entertain nicely. Also, Eckhart's charm and on-screen presence is always enjoyable; making him sort of a poor man's George Clooney in the way that he's able to make his handsome characters slightly dim-witted, yet lovable and someone that you can't help but root for - maybe even relate to.

      We don't learn much about his mentoring student, other than he's very rich, likes to get high and seems like he has a pretty high IQ and a talent with the ladies. I sort of looked at him as a Max Fischer (Rushmore) type of character. Or if that comparison escapes you, try Ferris Bueller. He's mildly compelling, but without any real depth or intrigue.

      Then of course you have the lovely Jessica Alba. Never one you can count on to carry a role with much flair for the dramatic or comedic timing; yet she's more than capable of looking nice on screen and playing that part to a tee. Luckily, that's all this character is really called upon to do.

      The entire story is fairly predictable and nothing we haven't really seen before. Some interesting characters are strewn together to make a mildly enjoyable experience; though again, there's little depth or high amounts of charisma from any of them. Which is a shame with actors that I normally hold in fairly high regard (Olyphant, Eckhart, Louiso). It's all taped together by a fairly vague ending. One that I'm not sure audiences will agree with. I certainly felt left out in the cold.

      Basically this movie is a bunch of semi-amusing moments strung together to make for a generic plotline. Already fairly short at about 100 minutes, it could actually have a few useless (bordering on gratuitous) scenes cut for a more timely experience. Really though, not much would help Bill. It's not a horrible film and one could do much worse at the multi-plexes this time of year, but it's so forgettable that I'm actually having a tough time remembering what I wanted to write about.

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