Film Friday #188

Wayne’s World (1992)

When advertising exec, Ben Oliver (Rob Lowe) finds a sponsor for best friends, Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) cult late night cable show, Wayne’s World, it seems like a dream come true. Now they can do the show for a living and Wayne can buy the guitar he’s always wanted. It’s not long though before the show starts to change, Ben starts to scheme on Wayne’s hot girlfriend, Cassandra (Tia Carrere) and even Wayne and Garth’s relationship is on the rocks. Is it ever worth selling out? I’m not sure if there is any film that captures the zeitgeist of early 90’s pop culture quite like Wayne’s World and if, like me, you were a teenager in the 90’s there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen this film about 20 times. Although Mr O and I hadn’t watched it for several years before this we were able to quote along almost line for line. All of that aside it’s still an excellent comedy. Not only are both Myers and Carvey hilarious playing these two dorky music superfans but the endless intertexuality is brilliantly clever and you feel like you’ve been let into some kind of secret injoke. Despite the fact that Wayne’s World is twenty-two years old it still feels relevant and its message about staying true to yourself rings true. Man, I miss the 90’s. 4/5

Wayne's interview technique was unique to say the least

Wayne’s interview technique was unique to say the least

 A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her boyfriend, Tom (Georges Thomason) carry off a successful diamond heist. What Tom doesn’t know is that Wanda is actually getting it on with her pretend brother, Otto (Kevin Kline) and Otto doesn’t know Wanda is all about Wanda. Then Tom gets arrested and since he’s the only one who knows where the diamonds are, Wanda needs to make sure she has the judge on side so she puts her energy into charming, Archie Leach (John Cleese) who is overseeing the case. In the meantime, Ken (Michael Palin), who is also working with Tom stutters his way through attempting to get rid of the one witness who can place Ton at the scene of the crime. But what will happen if Wanda actually starts to fall for Archie and where are the diamonds? This comedy caper is the winner from the word go. Palin and Cleese are both hilarious but Kline steals the show playing a man who has no idea that he’s actually a complete moron. In between the chaos and endless twists and turns as Wanda plays just about everyone, there are a series of brilliant scenes that include an assault by french fry, the unfortunate death of a series of small dogs, the world’s strangest striptease and an obsession with anything said in a foreign language. An absolute classic. 4/5

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Archie’s new trousers were proving less than effective

Dear Mr Watterson (2013)

Like me director, Joel Allen Schroeder, is a massive fan of Calvin and Hobbes – one of the greatest comic strips of our time and so he decided to explore not only the phenomenon of the popularity of the adventures of a boy and his toy tiger but also legend of Bill Watterson, the artist behind it. This documentary delves into a number of themes looking at how Watterson changed the quality of comic strips, his reluctance towards becoming famous and his refusal to license any Calvin and Hobbes merchandise. All of this is very interesting but what I kept hoping was that Schroeder would actually manage to connect with Watterson and get some insight from the man himself but since Watterson is basically a recluse, this never happens and the whole film kind of disappears up its own arse. We had a number of Calvin and Hobbes books in our house and I grew up reading them over and over again but as hard as Schroeder tries he doesn’t manage to capture any of the excitement and passion of the original strip, which kind of renders the whole thing pointless and I didn’t learn anything I couldn’t have learned on Wikipedia in ten minutes rather than in 89 minutes of this flat documentary. 1.5/5

Godzilla's new look was going over a storm with the locals

Godzilla’s new look was going over a storm with the locals

A.C.O.D. (2013)

When Carter (Adam  Scott) finds out that his brother, Trey (Clark Duke) is getting married he is less than thrilled, mostly because it’s going to involve getting his estranged divorced parents, Hugh (Richard Jenkins) and Melissa (Catherine O’Hara) together. In an attempt to smooth the waters before the wedding Carter tricks them into meeting up but his plan backfires and the two reconcile just a little bit too much. Carter decides to go and see his childhood therapist, Dr Judith (Jane Lynch) to get some insight into his feelings but is shocked to discover that she’s not a therapist at all but actually an author who studied him and a group of other children for a book she wrote. Dr Judith sees an opportunity in writing a follow-up book about what has happened to the children she studied now that they are adults. Initially Carter is adamant that his parents’ divorce has not affected him but as Hugh and Melissa’s affair starts to affect their new marriages, his relationship falters and he gets to know some of his fellow A.C.O.D.s (Adult Children of Divorce), he comes to realise that he might be in denial. I feel like A.C.O.D.  was a good concept with a pretty good cast but something just doesn’t quite work. It can’t decide it if wants to be a comedy or a drama so the tone is all over the place. The dialogue and the acting are also a bit meh and it ends really quite abruptly with little resolution. Points for trying but that’s about it. 2/5

Carter was disappointed to find that self-help was not just all wanking

Carter was disappointed to find that self-help was not just all wanking

13 Comments

  1. I have a feeling I will cross the Calvin and Hobbes movie off my Netflix watchlist. Also just had to add that I have never seen Wayne World, Mike Myers is one of those annoying people I hate to watch in any movie. Great post!

    1. Abbi

      I really wouldn’t bother with it. It’s sp boring. I can see how Mike Myers could drive you nuts and more recently he’s been awful but Wayne’s World holds a special place in my heart.

  2. Great write-ups. I watched A Fish Called Wanda for the first time recently and LOVED it.

    1. Abbi

      It was a favourite of my parents’ so I actually saw it loads of times when I was a child.

      1. Really funny film, with great acting.

  3. Tom

    Good stuff Abbi, that’s very disappointing about Dear Mr Watterson as I’ve been looking very much forward to getting into that. Still might, but I’m prepared for disappointment at least now. And the main problem I seemed to have with A.C.O.D. was it’s length (and lack of humor, i guess). That thing just took FOREEEVERRRR to finish. I couldn’t believe that when I went back and checked it out, that the movie was just barely over 90 minutes!

    1. Abbi

      I really wanted it to be better but the lack of any interaction with Watterson himself just makes it totally dry and tedious. A.C.O.D. definitely feels a lot longer than it is.

  4. I had no idea the Calvin and Hobbes film existed. And thanks for the heads up to avoid it.

    1. Abbi

      Rather spend two hours reading Calvin and Hobbes.

  5. Well I think you know already how much I love Wayne’s World. ; ) CPD Classic for sure if I ever get back around to doing those! Barely remember Fish Called Wanda now but enjoyed it at the time. I’m too lazy to scroll back up for the name but I won’t bother watching that last one. Lol! And what a shame Dear Mr Watterson doesn’t sound very good. I too love Calvin & Hobbes. I’ll still watch it at some point but it sounds as pointless as that John Hughes documentary ended up being.

    1. Abbi

      I still remember seeing Wayne’s World with my mom! Definitely don’t bother with A.C.O.D. and Dear Mr Watterson was as you say, utterly pointless!

  6. whatbliss

    My high school years were highlighted by Wayne’s World. The film sound track is pretty great too. I’m pretty sure my friends and I had it memorized.

    1. Abbi

      Mine too. I miss those days!

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