The scheming of Palermo's prototypical Italian is of little interest (he gets an old girlfriend to play nice with him), but Ferrell's ultra-loser, whose hearfelt appeal to the sky in the Hollywood Hills is met with jeers from the locals, shines. Shaud's dalliance with a married gal (is hubby a mobster?) is relatively lame, though his equally pathetic character is goofy enough to make his few scenes fun.
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Swinton herself is an ex-boarding school pupil.