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Film / Sour Grapes

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" Sour Grapes is a movie that deserves its title: It's puckered, deflated and vinegary. It's a dead zone."

Sour Grapes is a 1998 comedy film written and directed by Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, starring Steven Weber and Craig Bierko as cousins Evan and Richie Maxwell.

While gambling in Atlantic City, Richie borrows two quarters from Evan, and scores a jackpot of over $400,000. At first, Evan is happy for his cousin, but soon begins to insist that Richie owes him at least half of the money. The majority of the movie revolves around them arguing over whether Richie owes Evan anything.

As evidenced by the quote above, this was one of Roger Ebert's most-hated films.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Jewish: Richie's mother has some of the hallmarks of this trope.
  • Black Comedy: Not the darkest example, but the film revolves around subjects like cancer, castration, and an elderly woman with a heart condition being scared half to death.
  • Creator Cameo: Writer/director Larry David appears in three small roles.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Evan, fed up with his cousin's refusal to split the money, tells Richie that he has terminal cancer, and plans to tell him it was a joke shortly after. It backfires thusly: Richie fears that his mother won't be able to survive without him, so he gives her house key to an African-American bum and tells him to go to the house at night, hoping the surprise will trigger her heart condition and kill her so she doesn't have to watch her son die painfully. Great joke, doc.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: A given, considering who wrote the film. One of Evan's patients repeatedly propositions the receptionist for a date; a TV star about to have a major surgery tells the doctors and nurses stories about his show; Evan and the TV star argue over whether or not Evan said "hunky-dory" or "honky-dory" while the actor has him at gunpoint.
  • Take That!: The fake TV series Guys and Gals is a clear send-up of Friends.