Very Bad Things - * 1/2*

Peter Berg directs this messy (in more ways than one) black comedy. But while it certainly is dark and morbid…someone forgot the laughs in this dreary film.

Very Bad Things tells the tale of a bachelor party that goes horribly wrong. Kyle Fisher (Jon Favreau) is preparing to marry the controlling Laura Garrety (Cameron Diaz). For his final fling, his pal Robert Boyd (Christian Slater) has planned a fun-filled party in Vegas.

Along for the adventure are Kyle’s quiet mechanic buddy, Charles (Leland Orser), and two of his co-workers, Adam (Daniel Stern) and Michael Berkow (Jeremy Piven).

Things begin to go bad when the stripper (Carla Scott) hired by Boyd meets an unfortunate, accidental demise. Rather than report the death, the five men decide to cover it up…but their problems start to rapidly escalate from there.

If you couldn’t tell, this is a rather bleak comedy, and the situations just keep getting bleaker. Unfortunately, the comedy doesn’t keep pace. The film is obviously attempting to reach for some morbid laughs, but it just doesn’t get them.

Take the characters, for example. They’re all given little idiosyncracies, but rather than being comic, most of them are merely annoying. These aren’t people you’d really care to spend any time with, in or out of the theater.

The situation (normal guys in an abnormal situation) is familiar, yet something just never clicks here. Even the usually watchable Cameron Diaz becomes mildly repulsive in this film.

Filmmakers should learn never to use words like “Very Bad” in the title of their films. It’s too convenient a place for such an apt description of the film.

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