|Source of story
||An original screenplay
||John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, plus story by Chad Kultgen and Tyler Mitchell and rewrites by Jason Reitman
||This script had been in development for over three years before it was finally filmed; some would say “you can tell”.
||Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, Jay Mohr, David Copperfield, John Francis Daley
||A couple of boyhood friends grow up to become a famous magic act in a Las Vegas casino, but after ten years of the same show their audience is gradually spirited away by street magicians, one in particular performing violent acts for video. The two part and Burt, now penniless, is reduced to living in a motel and performing in an old people’s home. There he meets a veteran magician who originally inspired him, and reunites with his beautiful assistant, and his former partner to take on the opposition in a talent contest.
||The creaking magic show is performed, and Burt is seen to be self-centred, sleazy and objectionable. He is reduced to penury and goes through a process of revalidating his life. The street magician performs some quite unpleasant acts. There are discussions with the casino owner. There is impled sex but no nudity and occasionally the magicians meet in a bar and drink beer.
||This film was a box office disaster and was not much liked by the critics. Some reviewers have suggested that there was nothing in the trailer to attract an audience, and this could be true since the theme is generally one of failure rather than success. But while it might not be worth shelling out the ticket price for it, it is a watch for little or nothing on a Sunday afternoon.