Extract: The essence of funny

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Extract distills 3 &1/2 Red Vines for being a lot of fun

. Any good baker knows it's the one little ingredient that can make or break a tasty treat's flavor. I know because I have tried to fudge when I just didn't have that little bottle of vanilla or almond. Just a couple of drops of the stuff packs a wallop of flavor and it's the perfect name for this little delicious morsel of a movie, not only because it takes place in an extract factory but because a lot of laughs are concentrated in this tight 92 minute movie.

Jason Bateman continues to solidify his reputation as being a great everyday funnyman. This time around he is the successful inventor of a unique extract formula that doesn't evaporate in the baking process. But he has grown weary of running his warehouse of slacker employees of various idiosyncrasies. So when a big company wants to buy him out he is ready to cash in. That is until a warehouse accident leaves an employee with very little of his 'manhood' intact. The worker's impending lawsuit puts the sale in jeopardy.

Now the race is on to assuage the employee. At the same time, Bateman's plan to have his frigid wife seduced by a gigolo, so that he won't feel guilty cheating with a hot new temp at his plant, backfires. As his life slides downhill on a greased track, the situations become increasingly less predictable and the laughs pile up like so many dropped palettes of damaged goods.

The characters are fresh and fun with a stellar cast bringing them to life. Bateman is well matched with a hilarious Ben Affleck turned guru, drug dealer. Flavor of the year is Kristen Wiig, as Bateman's wayward wife. Mila Kunis plays the temp-tress with sticky fingers. While Clifton Collins Jr. is an absolute riot as the injured employee. David Koechner, once again delivers the goods as the world's most annoying and clueless neighbor. An even Beth Grant is a standout in her miniscule role as a catty, slovenly worker who doesn't want to do an ounce more work than anyone else.

All in all "Extract" makes the perfect explanation point to an interesting summer slate of movies. It's a little light weight film, with no apologies for being nothing more than a sweet morsel of condensed laughs from a great cast portraying quirky characters.

LADIES ROOM LOWDOWN: My guest also found this film very enjoyable as did the enthusiastic audience. Guess I'm not the only one who finds Jason Bateman's charm unlimited! ednp

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