Larry David goes long-form
BY LORI RACKL TV Critic August 8, 2013 9:53PM
Nathan Flomm (Larry David, right) fights with his boss (Jon Hamm) and gives up his stake in a company that later strikes it rich in the HBO film “Clear History,” debuting Saturday.
Updated: October 21, 2013 1:25PM
Larry David is bringing his brand of awkward, petty-centric, improvisational comedy back to HBO, this time in film format.
The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” centerpiece and creator is the co-writer/star of “Clear History,” debuting at 8 p.m. Saturday on the premium cable network.
David plays Nathan Flomm, a marketing executive at a start-up electric car company. After a trivial argument with his boss, he gives up his job and his 10 percent stake in the company, which goes on to make billions. Humiliated, Flomm changes his name and hightails it to the other side of the country. Things are going just fine in Martha’s Vineyard until his embarrassing past threatens to catch up with him.
The impressive cast includes Jon Hamm, Bill Hader, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Danny McBride, Kate Hudson, Amy Ryan and Eva Mendes, as well as “Curb” alums Philip Baker Hall and J.B. Smoove.
Chicago — the band, not the city — also has a role in “Clear History.” Members of the legendary rock ’n’ roll band with horns make a cameo in the film, which also features five of Chicago’s greatest hits.
The band is part of a recurring joke involving sex with groupies.
“We did have a list, a short list of bands that would work for the joke and whose music we would like to hear in the film,” said “Clear History” director Greg Mottola (“Superbad”). “Chicago seemed funny to us because it’s a large band and we didn’t really imagine them having these kinds of relationships with their fans.”
Chicago wasn’t at the top of David’s list.
“Actually, my first choice was the Bee Gees, but then a Bee Gee died,” the candid-to-a-fault David told TV critics at their recent press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. “So we were down to one Bee Gee. Didn’t seem that great to do it with one Bee Gee.”
David, who dresses like an aging hippie for part of “Clear History,” said he opted to make the movie instead of tackling another installment of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The critically acclaimed HBO comedy hasn’t aired an original episode since 2011, when it wrapped up its eighth season.
“I was thinking about ‘Curb’ or thinking about doing a movie, and I thought, you know, perhaps it’s time I tried something else,” said the “Seinfeld” co-creator. “So I decided to do the movie. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I have these ideas that I can use on “Curb,” but I want to do them in a movie.’ ”
And now that he’s tried that something else, could more “Curb” be in the offing?
“I don’t know; ask me in six months,” said David, characteristically non-committal about the comedy’s future. “I’m just an indecisive fellow. You should see me at a restaurant.”