“The Comedian” (Sony Classics)

Robert De Niro and Danny DeVito star in a scene from the movie "The Comedian." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Sony Pictures Classics)

By Catholic News Service

Mirthless story of an aging insult comic (Robert De Niro) who tries to revive his career and get out from under the burden of being best-known for his role in a catchphrase-laden 1980s sitcom. But his anger issues get in the way both at work and in his relationships (most significantly with girlfriend Leslie Mann).

Director Taylor Hackford and a quartet of screenwriters capture a bickering, yet affectionate, show business milieu. But in De Niro’s sour protagonist they have too unpleasant a character to sustain a compelling story.

References to nonmarital sexual activity, occasional profanity, frequent rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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