RATING |

Directed by Melisa Wallack and Bernie Goldmann. With Aaron Eckhart, Logan Lerman, Elizabeth Banks, Timothy Olyphant and Jessica Alba. Distributed by First Look Pictures. 1 hour, 35 mins.

R

(drug use and sexual themes). Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse.

With a pair of first-time directors,

Meet Bill

is a clash of poorly conceived and executed scenes lacking sense, continuity and entertainment value.

The central relationship, which begins in a high school lavatory, is between Bill and The Kid (Logan Lerman), one of three students Bill agrees to mentor. What the mentoring entails is anybody's guess, as Bill does little with the students but let them hang out with him in his office at the bank. With The Kid, however, he smokes marijuana, blows off fireworks, and parties with underage girls, one of whom he uses as a ploy to make his wife, Jess (Elizabeth Banks), jealous.

Why he wants his cheating wife back is among the film's many perplexing questions. Banks plays her with a cheaply sensual callousness that makes the sentimental turnaround all the more appalling.

As Bill, Eckhart offers a humorlessly bland version of the character he played in the superior

Thank You for Not Smoking.

The extent of the writer/director's development of his character as a malcontent loser is to give him a messy haircut and an appetite for candy bars.

For those whose idea of hilarity is an adult and a kid throwing fireworks at each other, then getting stoned and playing piggyback in the mall, this movie should be a refreshing tonic. Others might find the relationship a little creepy and prefer to decline an hour and a half in their company.

- Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer