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Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1 (2000)

Cast: Larry David, Larry David, Cheryl Hines, more...
Director: Larry Charles, Larry Charles
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: HBO Home Video
Genre: Comedies
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Seinfeld producer/creator Larry David has often claimed that the character of George Costanza, the abrasive, neurotic, spectacularly luckless Seinfeld supporting player so brilliantly played by Jason Alexander, was based on David himself. Small wonder, then, that most of the plotlines of the self-deprecating, reality-based sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm have a distinctly Costanzan flavor -- with Larry David, in the role of former standup comic-turned-TV executive Larry David, a dictionary definition of the phrase "his own worst enemy." A spinoff of the 1999 HBO "mockumentary" special of the same name, the weekly 30-minute Curb Your Enthusiasm is filmed in cinéma vérité fashion, with much of dialogue ad-libbed (though the premise of each episode has been carefully worked out in advance).

Larry David portrays himself as the archetypal Hollywood wheeler-dealer, forever promoting "can't miss" TV and film projects, and using (and sometimes abusing) his myriad of showbiz celebrity connections -- among them Richard Lewis, Rob Reiner, Shaquille O'Neal, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Wanda Sykes, and Mel Brooks, not to mention a generous supply of former Seinfeld stars -- to further advance his already super-successful career. And yet, no matter how high he climbs, David is a slave to his own foibles, phobias, and neuroses, perpetually opening mouth and inserting foot, making as many enemies as friends in high places and never relaxing long enough to enjoy or appreciate what he has accomplished. In typical Seinfeld fashion, our hero manages to make a sizable and often insurmountable mountain out of the tiniest and least significant of molehills. While the plotlines of the first two ten-episode HBO seasons were relatively self-contained, season three was held together with the through-line of Larry opening a Planet Hollywood-style restaurant, while the focus of season four was the rather improbable premise that Larry had been offered the starring role in Mel Brooks' smash Broadway musical The Producers. Also appearing on Curb Your Enthusiasm are Cheryl Hines as Larry's spouse, Cheryl; David's longtime production associate Jeff Garlin as Jeff Greene; and Susie Essman as Jeff's wife, Susie. The series is very much an HBO production with an unending stream of hilarious profanities and sexual situations (though the series' funniest running gag is probably the cleanest: Larry David's constitutional inability to figure out the basic protocol of tipping the help). ~ All Movie Guide

Disc One contains episodes 1-6.

GreenCine Member Ratings

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1 (Disc 1 of 2) (2000)
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7.89 (189 votes)
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1 (Disc 2 of 2) (2000)
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8.38 (173 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Makes Seinfeld look like The Cosby Show by underdog April 9, 2004 - 10:01 AM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
In the dictionary next to the phrase "acquired taste" shall sit a picture of Larry David's acerbic HBO series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. The episodes here offer up an array of bitter, and often genuinely brilliant, comic moments, and star a cast of talented folk -- David himself, a former stand-up and co-creator of Seinfeld (many have said he was the model for that show's George Costanza and it's easy to see evidence of that from watching this show -- although he's much more confident a persona than Costanza ever was), and Richard Lewis playing himself, that is, Larry's best friend, and so on. I spent a good deal of the time spent watching this wondering how his wife puts up with him, until she reveals herself as having her own...issues. Much of the humor from this show derives, in fact, from David's reacting off of the other wacked out characters he comes across, sharply catching all the absurdities life has to offer. For my money the funniest episodes here are #1 and the last one, which features a cameo by Seinfeld's Julia Louis Dreyfus as herself, of course, in a truly hilarious story.

What's off-putting about the show, depending particularly on your mood (never mind Larry David's many moods) and ability to withstand edginess, are some of the truly nasty characters he runs across. Jeff's wife gets worse with each episode, then there's the guy from the golf club (in an episode featuring Mr. Show's Bob Odenkirk as a former porn actor, an episode with its share of laughs and yet which I found rather unpleasant). Of course, I lived in LA for awhile and can tell you these people are hardly exaggerations. David's comic timing is spot-on and there are enough inspired moments here to give enjoyment to anyone missing Seinfeld or wanting something even darker. Very funny, but I'm... curbing my enthusiasm.

By the way, if at any point you find yourself bored or enervated by the show, I highly recommend turning on the French audio track -- the dubbing is spot-on, the actors amusingly a Francophile version of Larry and co., and even if you don't speak French (turn on subtitles) it's pretty darned funny -- at least for a few minutes. In some weird way it almost works better in French. Oui.

Nope, not funny by larbeck January 14, 2004 - 7:20 PM PST
2 out of 18 members found this review helpful
Not funny at all. Larry David is about the most unsymphetic character ever - PATHthic, actuall and it is painful to see the guest stars he brings to this cosmic waste of time.

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