Bernard and Huey

A lost work from one of the 20th century’s masters, updated for the 21st.

For as much of a flaming garbage pile of human awfulness as 2018 has been, it’s still capable of a few surprises that don’t make you want to grab a razor and go down the road. Case in point: a new Jules Feiffer film! Yep, that Jules Feiffer, the legendary playwright, Village Voice cartoonist, and screenwriter of Little Murders and Carnal Knowledge. He originally wrote the script for Dan Mirvish’s Bernard and Huey in the 1980s, based on comic characters he created in the 1950s, and went on to update it for the 2010s.

Fastidious pussyhound Bernard (the great Jim Rash) is reunited with the slovenly Huey (David Koechner) when the latter unexpectedly appears on Bernard’s doorstep. Once friends in college, where they were played by Jay Renshaw and Jake O’Connor, their power dynamics regarding women begin to revert to the old days, especially when the 49-year-old Bernard becomes involved with Huey’s estranged, 25-year-old daughter Zelda (Mae Whitman). As befitting a film written by a playwright and inspired by a comic strip that was primarily two people talking, Bernard and Huey often feels like the series of conversations that it is. But most of the running time it’s Jim Rash speaking Jules Feiffer’s words, which makes 2018 just a little more bearable.

Not rated.

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