Company Man

Rated 3.0

A dweeby 1950s schoolteacher (Douglas McGrath, who co-wrote and co-directed with Peter Askin) joins the CIA and is posted to Cuba, where his bumbling leads to the Bay of Pigs invasion. McGrath, who directed Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma and co-wrote Bullets Over Broadway with Woody Allen, harkens back here to Allen’s early comedy Bananas. In fact, Allen himself is along (uncredited) as the CIA’s head man in Havana, dismissing talk of revolution even as he lights his cigarette on a burning effigy. McGrath and Askin’s style is oafish but amiable, with the anything-for-a-laugh Mad magazine wackiness of Airplane. The film hits a slow spot or two, but the spirited, hammy cast (Sigourney Weaver, John Turturro, Anthony La Paglia, Jeffrey Jones, Denis Leary, Allan Cumming) delivers plenty of laughs.