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Richard Rietti (Michael Richards) has planned the mother of all bachelor parties for his best friend, Charles Tuttle (Jeff Daniels). But days before the wedding, when the bash is called off because Charles is sent to a desolate desert town to handle a secret family legal matter, Richard plans to take the party to Charles. Nervous about his impending wedding to Tiffany (Alexandra Wentworth), Charles goes on a night on the town which leaves him bruised, babbling and nearly comatose. When Richard is unable to snap Charles out of his stupor the next morning , he stands in for his hung-over friend in court. But everything goes wrong and when Charles sobers us, he finds Richard knee-deep in a charade capable of landing everyone in jail. Charles finds comfort in waitress Billie (Charlize Theron), while Richard falls for the prosecuting attorney (Jessica Stern), when he feels that he has to reveal the truthÖ

"Perhaps because of the release [in the US] of Liar, Liar, the distributor of Trial and Error may have thought it best to adopt a low key release; after all, another lawyer comedy might be too much to bear. Lawyers have been the brunt of cinematic humour since time immemorial, and what makes them work more often than not, is that audiences continue to enjoy the legal profession held up to ridicule. Itís a pity that few people will have a chance to see Trial and Error, because, though not great by any means, is still a cheerful enough diversion which remains pleasantly entertaining, due to the often assured direction of Jonathan Lynne. Perhaps what makes the film appealing is its participants. Michael Richards does fall into habit doing his Kramer schtick, but when he concentrates on his characters, delivers a fine, comically nuanced performance. Jeff Daniels is a reliable actor, and from farce to the more gentler periods, heís fine. Charlize Theron as Billie is a major find. This beautiful 21-year old has what many young actresses today lack: genuine depth and presence. With a winning smile, Theron here is funny, poignant and sweet, all up giving a most assured performance. Ironically, her next film is also a lawyer movie, The Devilís Advocate, in which her dramatic strengths are truly put to the test. The major scene-stealer in Trial and Error is Austin Pendleton, hilarious, as the poor judge attempting to preside over the most ludicrous of trials. Trial and Error is a comedy about taking responsibility for oneself and growing up. An old tale but true. Not original, but presented rather nicely in this cheerful piece of entertainment."
Paul Fischer

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CAST: Michael Richards, Jeff Daniels, Alexandra Wentworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Steen

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Lynn

PRODUCER: Jonathan Lynn, Gary Ross

SCRIPT: Sara & Gregory Bernstein (story by Sara & Gregory Bernstein & Cliff Gardner)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gabriel Beristain

EDITOR: Tony Lombardo

MUSIC: Phil Marshall


RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 30, 1997

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