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      Man Trouble

      PG-13 1992 1 hr. 40 min. Mystery & Thriller Comedy List
      7% 30 Reviews Tomatometer 14% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Harry Bliss (Jack Nicholson) operates a struggling security service and contends with numerous personal problems, including a faltering marriage. When vocalist Joan Spruance (Ellen Barkin) is threatened and excessively harassed, she hires Harry to provide her with guard-dog protection. Joan opts to live with her sister, Andy (Beverly D'Angelo), and becomes involved with Harry, but the mysterious circumstances of those menacing her complicate things considerably. Read More Read Less
      Man Trouble

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      Critics Consensus

      Man Trouble has brilliant stars and the germ of an interesting idea in its favor, which makes the scattered, unfunny results even more of a disappointment.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member The Chefs' had the ingredients to deliver a Beef Wellington, but all we got was a dogs dinner. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/19/23 Full Review william s Five uneasy pieces this is Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Although I didn't have the highest hopes for Man Trouble, the fact that it featured Jack Nicholson brought be on board. It takes no time before Man Trouble gets awful and before the audience is likely to either fall asleep or turn the movie off because it is a truly dreadful film. Made by duo of legendary actor Jack Nicholson and Academy Award nominated director Bob Rafelson who have teamed up on various films in the past including the multiple Academy Award nominated counterculture film Five Easy Pieces, Man Trouble brings them back together for their fourth time. Luckily enough it is their last because it proves to be a dreadful effort in which neither of them really tried whatsoever. While Jack Nicholson gave an honest and powerful performance in Five Easy Pieces and Bob Rafelson tied the themes together with firm direction, neither of them do either of that here. Jack Nicholson's performance in Man Trouble is arguably one of the worst of his career because he puts literally nothing into the part. It's not one where he tries too hard and overdoes it, it's one where he tries too little and the viewer soon forgets that it is actually him in the film. Without his name, Man Trouble would be nothing and would have no luck reaching audiences because there is little else for it to benefit from. Yet with him audiences are likely to forget how much of a talented actor he is because of the fact that he integrates none of his Academy Award winning talents into the role where he isn't the slightest bit funny whatsoever. The film makes use of a half assed version of his stereotypical archetype without capitalising on the best elements of it, and Jack Nicholson doesn't have any energy or charisma for the part. Considering his standard for acting, this is seriously Golden Raspberry Award material which he was "lucky" enough to score a nomination for. So fans of Jack Nicholson had best not watch this because it is obviously one of the worst films of his career. And Bob Rafelson gives us no other reason why to watch Man Trouble. Adapting the film from Carole Eastman's script, the same woman who wrote the Academy Award nominated script to Five Easy Pieces, Bob Rafelson makes a lazy attempt to put atmosphere into the film. He harnesses music to emphasise the dark subject matter and the light gags, but none of it works. There is little way to save a script as cheap as the one in Man Trouble, and Bob Rafelson proves that he cannot do it even when working with Jack Nicholson. Man Trouble wants to be both a romantic comedy and a thriller at the same time by chartering in different directions and randomly changing the tone of the film at several points in the series. Viewers bearing witness to this are likely to simply ask the question "what is the point?". It is genuinely hard to watch Man Trouble because the comedic element of the film is poor due to it not being the slightest bit funny, and the romantic element of the film is poor because of the lack of chemistry between the two romantic leads. This is mostly the fault of Jack Nicholson because of how little he is willing to try in the film while Ellen Barkin is the one person actually taking the film seriously. Her performance isn't great, but she is the one person who has faith that Man Trouble could be any good and so she acts as such. Unfortunately, her charms and attractive elements are not enough to save Man Trouble from being anything but weak storytelling and poor comedy. Ellen Barkin's performance is the one thing keeping me from calling Man Trouble one of the worst films ever made, and that is the best thing she is able to do for the film. Lauren Tom was so goddamn annoying in Man Trouble because she could not shut up. Her brief screen time is one of the most memorable things about Man Trouble and one of the clearest reasons not to watch the film because her presence on screen is just truly dreadful. Her voice gets excessively annoying really fast and she keeps talking and talking until the person stuck in front of the TV wants to throw something at it. Man Trouble should be avoided at all costs if for nothing else then solely for the fact that that way viewers will never have to witness the unfunny annoyance of Lauren Tom's lack of comedic talent in Man Trouble. So basically, Man Trouble messes up in every area and there is not actually a single cast member who is able to save it. Jack Nicholson possibly could have if he was funny enough but the fact that he clearly cannot be stuffed is just sad. Ellen Barkin tries and gets a certain level of success, but she deserves a fellow cast member who is actually willing to make an effort in this film and a script that is not completely bereft of laughs and full of unsettling drama. The plot is just too generic and misplaced in Man Trouble for it to be genuinely any good, and the dialogue of the film does not give it any humour to justify calling itself a comedy. So I wouldn't think that viewers would have any reason to justify recommending this film to anyone, even the most die hard fans of Jack Nicholson because it might damage his reputation amongst them. All in all, there are almost no redeeming features in Man Trouble whatsoever. So despite the presence of Jack Nicholson, he gives a possibly career weakest performance in Man Trouble teaming up with Bob Rafelson in their worst collaboration which is completely unfunny and would be fully forgettable if not for how terrible it was, and despite Ellen Barkin's attempts to save the film it cannot stand on its own feet. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Audience Member It's insanely shallow and creepily entertaining. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review ashley h Man Trouble is a disappointing film. It is about a sleazy but affable guard dog trainer who is blackmailed to steal a manuscript for a tell-all book from one of his clients. Jack Nicholson and Ellen Barkin try to make this movie work. The script sucks and is not that well written. I am not familiar with some of Bob Rafelson other films and so I will refrain from commenting. I was disappointed after watching this motion picture. I would not recommend in seeing it. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member The worst thing Jack Nicholson ever put his name too. Ghastly! Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

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      Gene Siskel Chicago Tribune A stunning disappointment considering the talent involved. Rated: 1/4 Jul 18, 2014 Full Review John Hartl Seattle Times A jaw-dropping Hollywood disaster of Hudson Hawk proportions. Rated: 1/4 Jul 18, 2014 Full Review Desmond Ryan Philadelphia Inquirer There was reportedly a great deal of argument and dissent during the making of the film, and it is reflected in its erratic tone and slovenly, indecisive and increasingly incoherent narrative. Rated: 1.5/4 Jul 18, 2014 Full Review Stephen Hunter Baltimore Sun It's not just bad, it's rancid. Rated: 0/4 Jul 18, 2014 Full Review David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor Two capable stars, Jack Nicholson and Ellen Barkin, lose their luster in this misfired comedy. Jul 18, 2014 Full Review TV Guide Man Trouble is abysmally amateurish from start to finish, never making any kind of sense on any level at any time during its running time. Rated: 1.5/4 Jul 18, 2014 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Harry Bliss (Jack Nicholson) operates a struggling security service and contends with numerous personal problems, including a faltering marriage. When vocalist Joan Spruance (Ellen Barkin) is threatened and excessively harassed, she hires Harry to provide her with guard-dog protection. Joan opts to live with her sister, Andy (Beverly D'Angelo), and becomes involved with Harry, but the mysterious circumstances of those menacing her complicate things considerably.
      Director
      Bob Rafelson
      Screenwriter
      Carole Eastman
      Rating
      PG-13
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller, Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (DVD)
      Dec 14, 2004
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $3.5M
      Sound Mix
      Surround, Stereo