Dir. Greg Mottola, 2013
HBO’s Clear History is an odd bird. A rare original comedy film from the network best known for more dramatic fare, Clear History stars Larry David as a fictionalized version of himself called Nathan Flomm. In 2003, Flomm is a marketing executive who disagrees with his partner (Jon Hamm) on the name of their new electric car, the Howard, and withdraws his shares. In the process, the Howard becomes a hit, and Flomm misses out on a billion dollars. Humilliated, he moves to Martha’s Vineyard, where he becomes a beloved member of his community under the name Rolly DaVore. When Hamm’s character builds a ghastly house on the Vineyard, Rolly sees an opportunity to get even.
Despite the deft work by all involved, Clear History is very much a television movie. Larry David chose to make the film this year instead of making a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and though the film is very similar (the different narrative lets David do some things he couldn’t on Curb), it’s hard not to walk away from this feeling like another season would have been better. B-