This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (June 2017)
|Directed by||Stanley Tucci|
Elizabeth W. Alexander,|
|Written by||Stanley Tucci|
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
The film, in which Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci play a Laurel and Hardy-like odd couple of out-of work actors, is set in the depression-era 1930s; indeed, the retro style of the film is a recreation of 1930s screwball comedy. The opening silent sequence harks back to the golden days of silent film.
In New York City, 1938 Arthur (Tucci) and Maurice (Platt) scrape a living by petty swindles, practicing their acting technique whenever they can. Following a drunken confrontation with pretentious and dreadful Shakespearean actor Sir Jeremy Burtom (Alfred Molina), they are forced to hide as stowaways on an ocean liner.
Unfortunately for the duo, Burtom himself turns out to be a passenger on the ship, along with a vividly diverse ensemble of larger-than-life characters: a suicidal crooner named Happy Franks (Steve Buscemi) sobs through a song; Mr. Sparks (Billy Connolly), an aging gay professional tennis player; the first mate Voltri (Tony Shalhoub), who is also a mad bomber with his own language; and many more.
Mistaken identities, pratfalls, slapstick, outrageous dialogue, and general mayhem ensue.
- Oliver Platt — Maurice
- Stanley Tucci — Arthur
- David Lipman — Baker in Kramer's Pastries
- Alfred Molina — Sir Jeremy Burtom
- Michael Emerson — Burtom's Assistant
- Matt Malloy — Mike who plays Laertes in "Hamlet"
- Lili Taylor — Lily a.k.a. 'Lil'
- Tony Shalhoub — Voltri, First Mate
- Teagle F. Bougere — Sheik
- Elizabeth Bracco — Pancetta Leaky
- Steve Buscemi — Happy Franks
- Dana Ivey - Mrs. Essendine
- Hope Davis - Emily Essendine
- Allison Janney — Maxine
- Matt McGrath — Detective Marco
- Richard Jenkins — Johnny Leguard
- Isabella Rossellini — The Veiled Queen
- Allan Corduner - Captain
- Campbell Scott — Meistrich
- Billy Connolly — Mr. Sparks, the Tennis Pro
- Lewis J. Stadlen - Bandleader
- Woody Allen — Audition Director (uncredited)