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Chris Kattan moves faster than the 24 frames per second that motion-picture cameras can capture. He is a hyperkinetic blur of comic energy, all jazz hands and puppy-dog begging for our attention and approval. And so is Corky Romano, the lovable-loon character Kattan plays as, basically, one amusingly spastic tic after another. (When he manages to powder himself with a kilo of cocaine, the result is that he’s only slightly more wired than usual.) The problem, really, is that Corky is too lovable. And the filmmakers keep insisting that we be reminded of this, when they’re not trying to sucker us with a sentimental string-filled soundtrack that seems borrowed from Old Yeller. Director Rob Pritts makes his feature debut with this flick, having previously labored on commercials for Bud Light and Snickers; writers David Garrett and Jason Ward made their name with an Internet film that got them a TV deal with Fox. The television-comedy template is noticeable. Not Seinfeld creator Larry David’s refreshing dictum, “No hugs, and nobody learns anything.” Rather, the film lives up to the bumper-sticker slogan on Corky’s car: “Free Hugs.” The exiled white-sheep son of a Mafia family, Corky dreams of becoming a veterinarian. When Dad (Peter Falk) runs afoul of the FBI, Corky is brought back to infiltrate the agency and steal their evidence. After Papa assures Son that the murder charges are false—he’s a nice gangster, only gambling and extortion on his resume—Corky dutifully sides with the family. An ill-explained straw man tossed in at the last minute to take the fall and justify this questionable choice is merely the last in a string of lazy coincidences pestering the script. But the bigger problem is the counterproductive insistence on Corky’s having it all. As in letting him wed Bruce Weber-model-turned-pouting-actress Jennifer Gimenez (filling out an FBI uniform way beyond regulation). A friend was watching the brilliant Dumb and Dumber on TV recently when his daughter piped up, “Daddy likes this because the idiots don’t get the girl.” Exactly. If a child can comprehend this basic comedy tenet, why can’t Hollywood?—Dave Nuttycombe