A little perspective before I dive into my review of "Lostand Found": You should know I had been dreading this movie for weeks.I fully expected I would have to restrain myself from walking out in themiddle. I mean, David Spade, that grating, diminutive, sarcastic littleditch rat in dire need of a hair cut from "Saturday Night Live"in a romantic comedy? David Spade getting cozy with the lithe and lovelyFrench actress Sophie Marceau? Oh, puh-leaze!
Having said that, there have been a lot of "SNL"alumni vehicles far worse than this one, which is often funny and occasionallyborders on actual charm.
Giving hope to 98 lb. dorks everywhere, Spade essentiallyplays himself as a struggling restaurateur, who is so smitten with hissupple new neighbor (Marceau) that he kidnaps her ever-errant pooch sohe can play hero by helping her search for the missing mutt and score someface time with the girl.
A weak set-up to be sure, "Lost and Found" isconstantly threatening to delve into complete idiocy. However the plot,such as it is, is buttressed by prefabricated but passable incidentals,like the fact that the dog swallows a diamond ring, forcing Spade to hidehim until the jewelry is, um, returned.
Spade's biting sarcasm has always made him a great surgicalstrike supporting player (as on TV's "Just Shoot Me") but heflounders trying to carry this movie (which he co-wrote). He has zero credibilityas a romantic lead, but he does manage a surprising amount of charm withoutsacrificing any of his smarm.
The films has a few, scarce moments of true hilarity, likewhen Spade gets wiped out at strip poker by a band of blue-haired biddiesplayed by Estelle Harris, Rose Marie, Marla Gibbs and Carol Cook. But inbetween is an awful lot of hole-riddled, paint-by-numbers plotting (Marceau'sarrogant French ex shows up as competition for Spade) and extreme over-acting(mainly from "MadTV's" Artie Lange as a restaurant employee whoobsessively emulates our hero).
Directed by Jeff Pollack ("Booty Call"), muchof "Lost and Found" feels hopelessly staged, as well. So focusedis Pollack on setting up punch lines that Marceau hardly mentions her missingdog after the first reel until he's returned in the last forcing Spadeto make a hollow, insincere apology.
Marceau, whose character is a very unconvincing cello player(a way of establishing how far out of Spade's league she is), brings slightpersonality to a role that is largely about looking pretty and wearingspaghetti strapped sun dresses. Capable of so much more ("Firelight" or "Braveheart," in which she plays the queen), the only reasonI can think of for her being here is to get noticed so she might be offeredmore work in Hollywood.
Spade's one-liners hit the mark 90 percent of the time,and the stolen puppy plot line somehow doesn't play nearly as idioticallyas it sounds. But ultimately, I don't care how disarming he is, David Spadewill forever be a "just friends" kinda guy. The practical upshotof which is that the "Lost and Found" is too silly to be believedand not enough fun to let that fact slide.
Run time: 95 mins
In Theaters: Friday 23rd April 1999
Box Office Worldwide: 100
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Production compaines: Dinamo Entertainment, Alcon Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 13%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 45
IMDB: 5.0 / 10
Starring: David Spade as Dylan Ramsey, Sophie Marceau as Lila, Ever Carradine as Ginger, Stephanie Chang as Restaurant Patron #2, Neal MacMillan as Restaurant Patron #1, Mitchell Whitfield as Mark Gildewell