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With Jim Sabatini

The D Train

The D Train
Jack Black and James Marsden

Rated: R for strong sexual material, nudity, language and drug use.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 8, 2015 Released by: IFC Films

Jack Black is back on the big screen since bitingly good Bernie and the bland The Big Year retaining his decent comedic physical presence, especially when it comes to prevarications. Yet, The D Train, also starring James Marsden (The Best of Me, Welcome To Me, Unfinished Business, X-Men: Days of Future Past) as hedonistic, not so successful former bisexual classmate Oliver Lawless, doesn't have enough quality plotting from directors Andrew Mogel and Jarrod Paul to make a flourishing risqué tale (at least on the level of I Love You, Man).

Black's ne'er-do-well Pittsburgh-based high-school reunion committee head Dan Landsman puts aside his consulting firm day job priorities when he is surprised to see the most popular of the class in Lawless, a licentious Marsden (once a Versace model), in a television ad. Getting Oliver to attend the event would be the kind of happening thing to attract erstwhile grads.

Part of the film's success works off of Dan's scheme (surrounding a promise about a client) to get out to L.A. that involves tricking his behind-the-times employer (a funny Jeffrey Tambor), in addition to his wife (endowed with sensitivity by Kathryn Hahn) and teenage son (Russell Posner). Oliver gets a kick out of Dan's adulation which leads to heavy partying and vanity sharing. An eye-opening scene in the culmination of a rendezvous puts Dan into a land of confusion. But, the filmmakers really can't heads or tails with the male-bonding and preferences that leave intimacy, approval, and relationships in a raunchy trail of unearned sentiment. Even if Black and
Marsden aren't that disagreeable of a pairing and it always helps to have the kind of veteran support that Hahn and especially Tambor offer.

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