Ray Romano Hits Theaters as a Political Plumber

Now in theaters: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Welcome to Mooseport.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

When Lola moves from the city to the suburbs, she tells the kids at her new high school that her father died in a terrible accident. Not true.

She also brags that she has tickets to her favorite rock group's farewell concert and an invitation to the very private after-party. Also not true.

Is this innocent drama queen fantasy or the kind of behavior you don't want your young daughters to see in their favorite role model? Especially when her fantasies come true in spite of the lies?

I am glad to report the musical numbers are age-appropriate. Parents might want to take along their knitting … or a good book and a flashlight. Grade: C

Against the Ropes

I love fight films. But after two rounds of Against the Ropes even I was ready to throw in the towel.

Meg Ryan is a female fight manager who turns Omar Epps into a contender. The fight scenes are so predictable they make Ferdinand look like the Raging Bull. But it was the script that had me screaming foul. They meet when she bails him out of jail, and he doesn't care. He doesn't even want to meet her. Grade: D Welcome to Mooseport

Ray Romano ought to know: comedy has to be anchored in reality. That's one reason everybody loves Raymond on TV. He gives us a real family, a real job, real folks.

In his first film, I hope the paycheck was real. Nothing else is. Romano plays a plumber who ends up running for mayor of Mooseport, Maine, against a former president of the United States, if you can believe that.

When the president and the plumber finally debate, they play the old schoolyard game rock-scissors-paper to see who gets to speak first. I could almost hear the filmmakers laughing at the meeting when they thought that up.

But not even Gene Hackman, one of the great actors of all time, can make us believe this. The last time he played a president, Hackman murdered his girlfriend. This time he should've gone after his agent. Grade: D

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