5.7/10
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43 user 27 critic

Trial and Error (1997)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 30 May 1997 (USA)
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer

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An actor poses as a lawyer to help his sick friend, and problems develop.

Director:

Jonathan Lynn

Writers:

Sara Bernstein (story), Gregory Bernstein (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Richards ... Richard Rietti
Jeff Daniels ... Charles Tuttle
Charlize Theron ... Billie Tyler
Jessica Steen ... Elizabeth
Austin Pendleton ... Judge Paul Z. Graff
Rip Torn ... Benny Gibbs
Alexandra Wentworth ... Tiffany
Jennifer Coolidge ... Jacqueline
Lawrence Pressman ... Whitfield
Dale Dye ... Dr. Stone
Max Casella ... Dr. Brown
McNally Sagal ... Charles' Assistant
Kenneth White Kenneth White ... Hank Crabbit
Keith Mills Keith Mills ... Buck Norman
Zaid Farid Zaid Farid ... Bailiff
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Storyline

Lawyer Charlie Tuttle is defending his wife's relative Benny Gibbs in a class action fraud suit, but when he gets to the city where court takes place, he gets drunk and the following day, when the hearings begin, his friend, actor Richard Rjetti takes his place posing as Charlie. The bad thing is that Richard doesn't know anything about being a lawyer, and Charlie has to teach him as the court goes on. Written by Marcos Eduardo Acosta Aldrete

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An experienced lawyer and an out-of-work actor giving justice a run for its money See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 May 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Advogado por Engano See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,903,529, 1 June 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,548,764, 27 July 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Austin Pendleton (who was a judge in this film) previously appeared as a stammering defense lawyer in My Cousin Vinny (1992). See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Richard Rietti: [on motorcycle] Oh yeah, ha ha! Oh! We should definitely slow down now, okay? No, don't go faster! Aaaah! Whoa, okay, whoa!
Elizabeth: Hey, watch it!
Richard Rietti: What am I supposed to hold on to?
Elizabeth: Not - that!
Richard Rietti: Well I gotta hold on to something, it's dangerous.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sound technician Brian McPherson is credited as "hothead technician." See more »


Soundtracks

Pleasin' You
Written by Anders Osborne
Performed by Anders Osborne
Courtesy of Okeh/Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent film
1 March 2002 | by JerryWeaverSee all my reviews

This film illustrates that appearances can be deceiving. Each of the main characters is playing a role that is somehow contrary to that person's real identity. In the case of the Rip Torn character, who is on trial for fraud, the deception is obvious, despite his ludicrous attempt to justify his fraudulent actions. And it is equally obvious in the case of the Michael Richards character, who is pretending to be a lawyer to help out his friend. But the other characters also are revealed to be different than who they appear to be.

This is a wonderful movie, which raises important questions about the veneer most of us use to hide our real selves. Like most good comedians (e.g., Robin Williams, Steve Martin), Michael Richards is also a fine actor, and his closing argument in the case is an especially masterful piece of acting.


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