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11 September 2005

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline & Michael Palin
Directed by Charles Crichton

From Hollywood Video: "A diamond heist in London goes awry. The leader is arrested and his sexy accomplice attempts to use his lawyer to find out where the diamonds have been hidden."

I know, I know - it's a 17-year old film. I saw it for the first time on Saturday night. Silly, silly, silly. Kevin Kline was brilliant, Jamie Lee Curtis struts around as a remarkable sex symbol (I still can't see it), and Michael Palin was surprisingly touching and pitiful as the hard-luck animal rights stutterer. John Cleese was the only person who seemed vaguely...subdued. It's as if Kline sucked all of the nutty inspiration out of the air, leaving Cleese almost normal and stable. Only toward the finale, especially during the scene in which he reunites with former Python alumni Palin, does his surrealism return.

As Keven said, it's hard to go back and watch a film from the 1980s. It just does not seem as important, funny, or worthwhile now, whereas so many films (for example) from the 40s became timeless classics. Maybe it was the technology, still struggling to find the digital era. Maybe it was the stigma of the money, politics, and culture of the times. It just does not make it to immortality. Just a fun movie I should have seen years ago.

(Oh, but speaking of the stigma of politics and our times - I was acutely aware of how ridiculous the airport scenes were, in this age of extreme security measures. Guns in the airport, people going to the gate without a ticket, various folks on the tarmac: these bits really stood out, distracting me from the intended humor of the conclusion.)

Blogger Reckless Monkey said...

I don't actually think you were allowed to carry guns around airports in the 80's either, but it's a film comedy, so I think so degree of 'let it go' must be adhered to.


Blogger carrie_lofty said...

Thanks for coming to visit, Uncle Monkey :)

But yeah, I know - let it go. It's just a little hard to that HERE, in the land of Bushie's terror around every airport style of politicals scares.

Good film, tho. Now I feel the need to rewatch Fierce Creatures - I saw it years ago and didn't understand that it was connected to Wanda.

Blogger Mircalla said...

How heavily checked are airports in the States? Here they check more than before, of course, but the check doesn't seem to me very strict, at least for European flights, which is somehow worrying. In fact, two days ago a suspicious man breached the controls and passed through at Manchester airport.


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