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Review: "How to be a Gentleman" doesn't know how to be funny

Published September 29, 2011 9:40 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"How to be a Gentleman" is an attempted update of "The Odd Couple" that's rude, crude and downright shocking on one count - it's amazing that an attempted comedy could be this utterly unfunny.

If you want to blame somebody for this disaster, you have to point the finger at David Hornsby ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), who created, wrote and stars in this sitcom. He plays Andrew, a rather prissy writer who has an etiquette column about how to be a gentleman (duh) in a men's magazine.

Andrew doesn't have much of a life. Just a really mean, unpleasant sister, Janet (a waste of Mary Lynn Rajskub), who not only henpecks her husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), but bullies Andrew.

Janet thinks Andrew is a schlub - she's not exactly wrong - so she gives him a free training session at a local gym. The gym is run by Bert (Kevin Dillon. "Entourage"), the lunkhead who used to bully Andrew in high school.

(They went to high school together? Dillon is a decade older than Hornsby.)

Bert punches Andrew in the arm a lot and makes jokes about "penis cancer." Which gives you an idea of the sophistication level of "How to be a Gentleman."

But Bert turns out be of use to Andrew when the erudite magazine he works for is turned into a Maxim-like girlie rag. The new owners want to "expand the readership by targeting people who don't read," says Andrew's boss, Jerry (Dave Foley).

The message seems to be that lunkheads are cool and people who can put a sentence together are dorks. Which might be funny ... except that it's so badly executed that it's not.

"How to be a Gentleman" might make you groan, but it won't make you laugh.