Deal of a Lifetime (1999)

Rating:

USA. 1999.

Crew

Director – Paul Levine, Screenplay – Katharine R. Sloan, Producers – Daniel Helberg & Yoram P. Omtal, Photography – Denise Brossard, Music – Amotz Plessner, Digital Effects – Look! Effects (Supervisor – Kevin Mullican), Special Effects Supervisor – James ‘Wayne’ Beauchamp, Production Design – Franco-Giacomo Carbone. Production Company – Tomorrow Films

Cast

Kevin Pollak(Jerry Dante), Michael Goorjian (Henry Spooner), Jennifer Rubin (Tina), Esteban Powell (Foster), Shiri Appleby (Laurie Pettler), Ron Glass (Mr Creighton), Shay Astar (Peggy Doozer), Jane Carr (Nancy), Elijah Craig (Kevin Johnson)


Plot

Nerdish high school student Henry Spooner idly says he would sell his soul to win the love of his object of desire, Laurie Pettler. This is heard by underworld agent Jerry Dante. Dante appears offering Henry many things – popularity, academic success, the class presidency, triumph over bullies and the love of Laurie – in return for which all he has to do is sell his soul.


Deal of a Lifetime is a diabolical pact comedy, one that competes heavily to be the worst in a theme overstocked by a host of banal and insipid entries. The idea of a diabolical minion trying to tempt a geeky teenager with the promise of cool and handsomeness was done before in Hunk (1987), which this has many similarities to, and the subsequent I Was a Teenage Faust (2001). Everything here is conducted with an utter predictability.

One wonders what well-known names like Kevin Pollak and Jennifer Rubin and doing toplining something like this – you can only think that they must have been hard up for work. On these terms, Deal of a Lifetime is insipidly and cheaply made. However, it is Kevin Pollak’s performance that pushes the film beyond the merely insipidly dull to give it a fascinating awfulness. Pollak lets out all stops and plays with an amazingly silly campiness. He goes through a new costume change every time we see him – playing in drag, as a stoner, in military khakis and, in one spectacularly awful moment, emerging from inside a salad bar. It is an astonishingly bad performance.



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