Apart from a brief jab at Internet porn, the movie offers scant evidence of having been written for a post-Microserfs (1995) era; a journalist for the British Columbian lottery commission’s Winners magazine, Ryan (Costanzo) still files his stories sans computer. Coupland’s fish-barrel targets include Mandarin classes, fad diets, Hollywood’s treatment of Vancouver and the world’s inability to define feng shui.
Performed with a cadence that alternately suggests the uneasiness of
bad improv and the practiced nonemphasis of Mametese, this is probably
the worst-acted movie so far this year, though whether that’s a result
of Fox’s direction or the mannered dialogue is difficult to say. (Only
a tirade about office-party cruises has the observational wit of
Coupland’s best work.) The stated moral is that no one does anything
“real” for a living; everyone scams, including Ryan, who launders
lottery winnings through the Japanese mafia, and his parents, who get
busted for growing pot. “This is so role-reversal–ish my head is
spinning,” Ryan whines of the arrest. The movie is more half-assed–ish.