Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Sitcom veteran Larry David, the co-creator of TV's Seinfeld, made his big-screen directorial debut with this clever comedy featuring distinct Seinfeld overtones. Sour Grapes was released April 17, 1998, only four weeks prior to the last Seinfeld episode. Selma Maxwell (Viola Harris) is the adoring mother of boyish, fun-loving shoe designer Richie (Craig Bierko), who would like to see his more-mature cousin Evan (Steven Weber), a respected neurologist, enjoy himself more. So the two head for Atlantic City for a gambling weekend. They lose heavily at the tables and soon are down to pocket change at the slot machines. After Richie inserts his last quarter, he asks Evan for two coins to go a final round. The spinning cylinders land on three grape clusters, triggering alarms, flashing lights, and a $400,000 jackpot. Richie is ecstatic. But Evan feels that since the win was made with his quarters, he deserves 50%. Richie refuses, and heady with power, Richie soon turns nasty and is fired after he insults his boss. Richie's girlfriend Roberta (Robyn Peterman) suggests he settle down and give Evan something, while Joan (Karen Sillas) wants Evan to drop his money demands. An attempt to renew the friendship goes awry when Richie finds Evan's jogging-suit gift ludicrous, while Evan becomes incensed by an offer of only 3% of Richie's $400,000. The film's score punctuates the escalating conflict with witty excerpts from familiar classical compositions.
cousin, feud, friendship, gambling, money, slot-machine, windfall [monetary]