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‘Out on a Limb’ (PG)

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
September 05, 1992

"Out on a Limb" will have you sawing wood, but not with a chain saw. An oafish farce about a successful young stockbroker (see, you're yawning already), it stars Matthew Broderick, who learns there's more to life than earning money.

Broderick, who exudes the charisma of elm pulp, is about to close a $140 million deal with a blond heiress when his kid sister (Courtney Peldon) calls with a family emergency. She has learned that her evil stepfather (Jeffrey Jones) is about to kill somebody. What she doesn't know is that Jones also has an evil twin (Jones), an ex-con who intends to murder, then masquerade as, his brother.

When Broderick arrives on the scene -- a remote logging town called Buzzsaw -- he meets a temperamental redhead (Heidi Kling) who has no motivation whatsoever, but steals his BMW and leaves him naked on the side of the road. His life is complicated further -- unlike the plot -- by two imbecilic sot brothers named Jim and Jim, two incompetent cops and a grizzly bear. The redhead spends most of the movie pummeling the hero, who must be a masochist because he falls in love with her.

French farceur Francis Veber, who made his American film debut with "Three Fugitives," directs from a first screenplay by twin brothers Daniel and Joshua Goldin. Veber, who directed the side-splitter "Les Comperes" and wrote the classic "La Cage aux Folles," apparently left his senses on the other side of the Atlantic.

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