Lost and Found

1/2*

In Lost and Found, David Spade has gained his first leading role in a non-buddy movie. It's too bad he's not up to the task.

Yet again, Spade is cast as another smarmy loser, this time an Italian restaurant owner named Dylan. The love of his life, French cellist Lila (Sophie Marceau), has just moved into his apartment complex. However, she refuses to even give him the time of day.

One day, when Dylan discovers Lila's lost dog, he gets a brainstorm. He kidnaps the dog himself, and helps Lila with the hunt. The two bond...but what will happen when Lila discovers the truth?

Dylan's chief rival is pianist Rene (Patrick Bruel), who has followed Lila to America. He's annoying, rude and extremely irritating. In fact, his only good quality is that he's not David Spade.

Spade truly suffers without his previous screen partner, Chris Farley. Lost and Found makes a fatal misstep by presenting another overweight-but-good-natured sidekick (played by Artie Lange). By trying to fill the hole Farley left, they only make his absence all the more noticable.

The core problem here is that David Spade cannot carry a movie on his own. His smarmy style of barbed wit is ideal for a colorful supporting role, but not the stuff leading men are made of.

The gags in Lost and Found are miss and miss. Whether intentionally or not, the film constantly hearkens back to There's Something About Mary. With it's cruel dog jokes, frequently disgusting humor, and even an end-credits lip synch track, Lost and Found continuously makes comparisons to a film that is well beyond its league. That is a mistake, as it only serves to make Lost and Found seem more bland.

It's not that the film doesn't try to be funny...it's just that it tries in all the wrong ways. I mean, the film's penultimate joke is a set piece about Neil Diamond. Even the film's quick cameos by Jon Lovitz and Martin Sheen are wasted.

Even if you're in tune with David Spade's unusual wavelength of humor, there's nothing worth finding here. Lost and Found is better off lost.

[PG-13] (WB)


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