Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge, based on a short story by the noted satirist Sharad Joshi, is exactly that: a short story stretched into a movie.
This tale of the house guest from hell might have worked well as an episode of Doordarshan's Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi or even All India Radio's Hawa Mahal. But as a two-hour movie, it's overtly stretched and mostly mediocre.
Ajay Devgn and Konkona Sen Sharma play a Mumbai couple who are confronted one day with Chacha Lambodar from Gorakhpur, played by Paresh Rawal.
This is the sort of guest who gargles loudly at 5:45 AM and wants two vegetables, one dal, one raita, a few paranthas and some meetha at every meal.
But the bigger problem is that he doesn't show any signs of leaving. The two try every trick in the book to get him to go - including hiring an underworld goon - but everything backfires.
Eventually living with Chacha ji becomes a moral science lesson on the importance of your elders.
Writer-director Ashwini Dheer manages to infuse some fun into this, including a track about a B-grade film being funded by a bhai. There's also a lovely moment when Chachaji sings a bhajan set to the tune of the chartbusting item number Beedi Jalaile.
But mostly, Atithi feels laboured and long. There's only that much you can do with an annoying guest and Dheer does it all before shifting tone from comedy to emotional melodrama with a dollop of religious fervour thrown in for good measure.
Dheer has a stellar cast of three national award winning actors but he doesn't give them sparkling lines or substantial moments.
Only Ajay Devgn gets to chew the scenery with a nicely done climactic speech about the relationship between children and parents.
Aththi Tum Kab Jaoge attempts to impart valuable lessons but the comic sugar-coating just doesn't crackle enough.