Entertainment » Television

Clear History

by Louise Adams
Tuesday Nov 5, 2013
Clear History

Larry David brings his whining-about-nothing shtick to the HBO film "Clear History," an exploration of a 99 percenter who lost his chance to become a billionaire.

Looking like "the guy who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart," David plays hippie Silicon Valley marketing exec Nathan Flomm, who leaves Will Haney's (Jon Hamm) start-up electric car company (apparently located near the San José State University campus, as shown in the flyover opening credits) on the eve of breaking big.

The Howard cars, named after "The Fountainhead" asshole's Rourk, sell like (and are about the size of) iPads (despite the unrealistic lack of Asian engineers in the mix), so Flomm moves to and hides in Martha's Vineyard as Rolly, elder care worker and small town schmuck.

The Howard cars, named after "The Fountainhead" asshole’s Rourk, sell like (and are about the size of) iPads, so Flomm moves to and hides in Martha’s Vineyard as Rolly, small town schmuck.

A decade later, Haney and wife Rhonda (Kate Hudson) move to the island to begin rehabbing a beloved mansion. One of Rolly's poker buddies Frank (scruffy Danny McBride) recommends two schlubs (an unrecognizable, mutton-chopped Michael Keaton and dopey Bill Hader) to exact revenge amidst a Chicago (the band) soundtrack (most women in the town - including waitress and Rolly's former girlfriend Amy Ryan and Eva Mendes - have given blowjobs to the band when they're in town).

OCD nagging works well in the "Seinfeld" format, but wears a little thin here. Yet the ensemble keeps the narrative moving, including J.B. Smoove as cuckolded Jasper, Patty Ross as diner owner Gladys, and the menacing Chechen named Tibor, played by Liev Schreiber (uncredited because "there's kind of a Showtime-HBO thing," said David). There aren't any video extras, but the computer pull-down menu credits are pretty cool.

"Clear History"

Louise Adams is a Chicago freelance writer at www.treefalls.com (and a nom de guerre).


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