Did your 401K dry up and blow away sometime after 2008? Is your house in foreclosure? Have you recently been down-sized by a large corporation? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you might want to give "Too Big To Fail" on HBO a wide berth. Or, you can take a few swigs of Pepto Bismol, put a clothes pin over your nose, and follow me. "Too Big" is based on the best selling book by Andrew Ross Sorkin and it tells the tale of the big banks and financial institutions that were behind the U.S. financial melt down in 2008.
I'm not going to attempt to re-cap the plot here. It's not an easy story to tell. For one thing, it's pretty difficult to make a gaggle of millionaire middle aged white dudes (mostly bald) who do nothing but sigh and stare at spread sheets in a dark conference room seem compelling. But HBO has a knack for bringing sizzle to made-for-television movies about big bad business decisions. They did it with TV talk shows in The Late Shift and with the machinations of tech giants Apple and Microsoft in Pirates of Silicon Valley. They manage to do it here too, although it's quite humorless and doesn't have a happy ending. If you like revenge and comeuppance, this one's not for you. Nobody ever gets punished for tanking the U.S. economy, and sadly it's doubtful that anyone ever will.
Hunt for "Too Big to Fail" On Demand, if you did not catch the premier on HBO this past week. It has a stellar cast including William Hurt, Ed Asner, Paul Giamatti, Topher Grace, Matt Modine, Tony Shalhoub, James Woods and Cynthia Nixon as the token corporate PR girl. Watching this movie is not a walk in the park, but do it anyway. It's like taking your vitamins, you'll be stronger afterward if you do.