The death of aggressively self-made entrepreneur Sam Yones's much-loved older son Matt, who'd been his father's gofer for years, is followed by a grand jury investigation of Sam's sharp investment practices—in this big, unfocused, breast-beating orgy from the author of Something in Common (1985). Ambitious Miami US Attorney Spencer Pelchek's investigation, focusing on Sam's Cayman Islands tax-dodge accounts, actually threatens much more, since the ownership and trusteeship of those accounts drags in not only Sam's longtime partners Mike Ankers and Gordy Wiser but his dull, doggedly faithful older son Billy, his shiksa wife Liz, whose first loyalty is really to Mike—she'd loved him years before but finally settled for Sam—and Mike's sharp live-in Cheryl Stone, who could be pressured to testify against him because they're not married (and who therefore has to be brought under Sam's watchful eye to push papers as a consultant). As Spencer and his even more predatory boss, Byron Varner, close in for the kill—putting Mike up on the stand to testify, asking him probing questions about his knowledge of the Cayman accounts and then allowing him to wriggle off the hook, offering him immunity in return for dishing the dirt on Sam—and as the revelations begin to thicken—Cheryl finds out that Sam has sent Billy to the Caymans to backdate a $1.8 million deposit in an account listed to Mike, and the law informs Sam that Matt's death in a car crash was actually a hit meant for him—the characters, except for sweating, honorable Mike, start to recede in a haze of bromides (``You never get to the top floor. No one knows where the top floor is'') until they matter even less than their knee-jerk anxieties (anguish about betraying a 40-year friendship, memories of Passover Seders, shiksa-bashing). As business melodramas go, this overblown opus has the words but not the music. Even the sure-fire courtroom material falls flat.
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