Roman Polanski has adapted plays for the screen before, including the single-location Death And The Maiden
, so maybe one could understand the appeal of Yasmina Reza’s static examination of two New York couples meeting to discuss their children’s schoolyard fight. And the actors---Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Chrisoph Waltz---get a wordy piece to chew through. But what do audiences get? An academic exercise in class-baiting delivered at a painful pitch, implausible staging (why doesn’t the one couple just leave?) and terminally unsympathetic characters. A few hollow laughs come from a lot of selfish behavior, but the whole endeavour is obvious and, even at a scant 79 minutes, exhausting.