Life Stinks (1991) *

Mel Brooks attempted to break out of the genre parody rut for the last time with this variant on Sullivan's Travels, Trading Places, and all those other films where rich people pretend to be poor for a bet. But what should have been his most interesting film since The Twelve Chairs must ultimately be counted a disappointment, which chokes itself on sentimentality after a generally spirited first half hour. Scattered moments thereafter, and a pleasantly daft finale, make it worth sticking with, and it certainly didn't deserve the drubbing it received at the time.