Road to Wellville, The

Reviewed By Rob Gonsalves
Posted 03/11/07 10:54:40

"Do you have enough fiber in your diet?"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Off-putting at first, this self-consciously scatological comedy does grow on one, largely because Anthony Hopkins gives one of the great hambone performances as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the crackpot inventor of cornflakes.

Lording it over his experimental health retreat in Battle Creek, Kellogg speaks passionately about the evils of meat-eating and sex (“An erection is a flagpole on yer grave”). Hopkins, pushing a Foghorn Leghorn accent past the ugliest set of buck teeth in film history, is a good enough reason to watch.

When he’s not around, the movie inevitably deflates, though there’s decent work by Bridget Fonda and Matthew Broderick as a troubled couple at the retreat, John Cusack as an enterprising young businessman looking to cash in on the cornflake boom, Dana Carvey as Kellogg’s scurvy adopted son, and Lara Flynn Boyle as a sickly, sex-starved patient.

Though his treatment of overweight and weird-looking people borders on sadism, Alan Parker is the right director for this brand of heartless comedy (based on a novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle).

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