It's an unashamedly old-fashioned and richly visualized evocation of a time when values were key, trust in your neighbor complete, and a way of life that should be simple is made unfathomably complex because of economic hardship.
Lawrence uses the stand-up forum less as a weapon to blast us with his incisive, razor sharp insights into life, sex and ethnicity than as a pulpit or confessional to chronicle his rehabilitation and reformation.
The Village goes up in smoke (and mirrors). It wants to find a profoundness that hints at something deep and dimensional, but it hasn't the courage of conviction to stay on course as an unabashed ode to innocence.
The film is inherently calculated and cold, so smugly satisfied with itself and its surprise final trick that it seems to be running its own con to convince us the script's house of cards is actually substantial, original and slick.