The Souler Opposite

on October 02, 1998 by Mike Kerrigan
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   The saying goes that you should write about what you know. Bill Kalmenson does just that, and superbly. The long-time stand- up comic creates a character, Barry Singer (a wonderfully deadpan Christopher Meloni), who hides his insecurities with the opposite sex behind a steady stream of one-liners. "Sixty percent of marriages end in divorce," one woman tells him. "Better than the 40 percent that end in death," replies Barry.
   That same woman (a radiant Janel Moloney) sees through the brittle exterior. After accusing him of using the world as his personal comedy club, she moves in with him. Naturally the course of true love runs far from smooth. They fight, she leaves. Simultaneously, Kalmenson peels back the layers to show the often unfunny world of comedy clubs, places run by egomaniacs with the power to make or break a career. Meanwhile, Barry's boyhood chum (Timothy Busfield) acts as sounding board/confessor/accomplice while totally unable to control his own life. The three are a fascinating microcosm of human nature, proficiently presided over by Kalmenson.    Starring Christopher Meloni, Timothy Busfield and Janel Maloney. Directed and written by Bill Kalmenson. Produced by Tani Cohen. A Curb Entertainment release. Romantic drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 105 min.
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