JIMINY GLICK IN LALAWOOD (Vadim Jean). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (May 6). For venues and times, see Movies, page 92. Rating: NN Rating: NN
There's a point in most improvised movies when you think, "I kind of wish they'd gone with a script."
In Jiminy Glick In Lalawood, that moment comes when Jiminy ( Martin Short ) and his wife, Dixie ( Jan Hooks ), explain sex to their twin sons Matthew and Modine. References to "the big papa" and "the downstairs area" start out funny, but the scene runs too long, like nearly every Saturday Night Live sketch ever written. And like most SNL alumni, Short's created a character that's great on TV but can't carry a feature.
Jiminy, a small-time entertainment reporter, while in Toronto for the film festival, becomes trapped in a web of intrigue and murder involving washed-up actress Miranda Coolidge ( Elizabeth Perkins ) and David Lynch (Short again, in a dead-on impersonation). After giving the sole rave review to Growing Up Gandhi, a film by reclusive star Ben DiCarlo ( Corey Pearson ), Jiminy becomes a celebrity in his own right. The funniest parts by far are the cameos by real actors ( Kiefer Sutherland , Kevin Kline , Steve Martin ) who try not to break out laughing as Jiminy confronts them.
Jiminy has his own talk show on Comedy Central, Primetime Glick. The Glick character is closer to Star Jones than to Johnny Carson; he covers his ignorance with a folksy "let's get to know the real you" demeanour. Short does a wonderful job of skewering self-important "celebrity journalists," but no one wants to watch Star Jones for two hours, and the same goes for Jiminy Glick.