You don't need "Another You," the latest Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor vehicle to self-destruct before take-off. This movie brings new meaning to the word meaninglessness: It is simultaneously predictable and improbable.
Wilder plays George Washington, a pathological liar who's just been released from a mental institution in an Abe Lincoln stovepipe hat that signifies his hard-won honesty. Pryor plays Eddie Dash, a small-time con man on parole whose assigned community service duty is to help George adjust to non-institutional life.
But George keeps getting mistaken -- or so it seems -- for a missing billionaire beer brewer named Abe, even by the latter's sultry, shapely wife, Elaine (Mercedes Ruehl). And, Eddie -- although he knows that George should no more tell his first fib than an alcoholic should take his first drink -- encourages his charge to lie. This is about as funny as it sounds.
What makes it worse is that midway through, "Another You" decides to become another movie. Abe, it seems, doesn't really exist -- he's just a fiction in a scam that needs George because he's such a prodigious liar. All the characters -- except George and Eddie -- are really actors playing roles.
"Another You" is so unbelievably bad that there is a moment or two in which strained credulity leads one to think that writer-producer Ziggy Steinberg, whose fun-house horror this is, was trying for a sense of self-conscious Pirandellian fantasy and irony. But Steinberg's no Luigi -- he's just ziggy.
Starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.
Directed by Maurice Philips.
Released by Tri-Star.