The Ladies Man (2000)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Farce, Sex Comedy  |   Release Date - Oct 13, 2000 (USA)  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Lorne Michaels is at it again, giving another of his babies a big-screen promotion, unaware that the mildly amusing premise of a short sketch faces a tougher task over the course of 90 minutes. Tim Meadows was always strictly a supporting player on Saturday Night Live, so it's no surprise he seems to be looking for help as The Ladies Man -- a lisping, sexually incorrect loveline host who swills Courvoisier and ends sentences with "in the butt." All this could be cheeky and outré in a good way, but Meadows is too passive to make the character outrageous -- which would still leave things short of a good movie. The central joke doesn't work well, either. The character is supposed to be so irresistible that he lures women out of happy marriages and into bed, but what earned the limited laughs on the show was the knowledge that his braggadocio must be totally imagined, because his pickup methods are so bluntly ineffective. Having him actually succeed not only misunderstands the quiddity of Leon Phelps, it also snaps the link to realism, an essential anchor in the best SNL films (such as Wayne's World). But to probe so deeply overlooks the obvious surface problem: The Ladies Man is silly and simplistic, written with little momentum and no insight. Several game supporting actors try in vain to elevate the material -- most successfully, Will Ferrell; most bizarrely, Julianne Moore.