Directed by David Mamet, Spanish Prosoner is a suspense movie which tells the story about a confidence game to undertake a corporate heist. The film stars Steve martin, Campbell Scott and Rebeca Pidgeon.
A the plot goes, Joe Ross is a geeky engineer who develops a highly efficient industrial process which would revolutionize the manufacturing world. As he scouts for probable buyers he meets the wealthy Jimmy Bell and his secretary Susan at an island resort. Jimmy befriends Joe and asks him out to his house to introduce him to his sister. Simple Joe feels this kind of attention to be very flattering. Susan and Jimmy also keep insinuating that Joe's boss was trying to embezzle the plans and processes all for himself and in the end Joe believes them.
Jimmy convinces him to take his legal counsel and meet him with the plans. But soon Joe understands Jimmy to be a fraud and enlists the support of the FBI agent Pat McCune. But Pat turns out to be hand in glove with the con men and poor Joe is thoroughly robed of his plans. And to add salt to his wounds it appears as though he has sold his plans to Japanese industrialists.
This alienates his boss and other members of his family. Joe is also framed for the murder of his co-developer George Lang. While running from the law Joe meets up with Susan who appears to believe him and keeps professing her love for him. A desperate Joe believes her and the duo formulate a plan to prove his innocence. Joe remembers the cross circuit television camera's in the island retreat where the meeting was held. He plans to take the tapes which would prove his innocence and Jimmy's presence. But Susan too is proved to be the fraud and Jimmy arrives at the island to kill him. In the ferry Jimmy and Susan are surrounded by a gaggle of Japanese tourists who shoot at Joe. Joe is hit by a dart and falls unconscious. The Japanese tourists turn out to be American marines who were tailing Jimmy. All ends well as Joe gets his plans and is proved innocent. Jimmy and Susan are taken to jail.
This movie is a well paced comedy and really involves the audience. Steve Martin as the evil Jimmy Dell is one of the suave and finest villain act of the time. His menacing act evokes laughter and curiosity. Apart from the typical Martin mannerisms this movie offers the audience more insight to the talents of this fine actor. Campbell Scott as the simple Joe is apt and Rebeca Pidgeon as the wily Susan is a class apart.
This movie was a critics favorite and the top grosser of 1997. The film was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. A perfect cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday evening is the best back drop to see this movie. It is worth your time and money.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Spanish prisoner (released in 1997) - A suspense film, starring Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ben Gazzara and Ricky Jay
Directed by David Mamet, Spanish Prosoner is a suspense movie which tells the story about a confidence game to undertake a corporate heist. The film stars Steve martin, Campbell Scott and Rebeca Pidgeon.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Baby Mama (released in 2008) - a comedy movie starring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Sigourney Weaver, Greg Kinnear, and Dax Shepard
Surrogacy is a hot topic for a serious drawn out docudrama, but Baby Mama turns all that notions upside down. All the complications of surrogacy is not fully presented, but it is a romantic comedy which pulls out to your heart strings. In a male dominated story lines of Hollywood this movie gives the bonding between two women belonging to different worlds the premium space. Directed by Micheal McCullers, this 2008 movie stars Tina fey. Amanda Poehler, Greg Kinnear and Steve Martin.
Kate Holbrook is a Wharton Grad and a hard nosed career women. In her late thirties she feels time slipping from her hands and wants to satisfy the urges of motherhood. But to her horror she comes to know that her uterus is T-shaped which makes her chances of pregnancy very remote. Kate approaches this problem in a true business sense and zeroes on the technique of surrogacy. She chooses a spoilt Angie to carry her baby to term. Angie is a con on her own right with her head in the air and lands up at Kate's door step with no place to live in. She plans to make a run with the compensation money and knows that the in-vitro fertilization has not succeeded.
A a driven Kate approaches impending motherhood in her own methodical way, she learns the hard knocks early by tending to a childish Angie. Slowly a bond develops between the two women and Angie begins to regret the lie she is forced to live. But she keeps putting off the confession. But a routine ultra sound confirms her pregnancy, and to her shock Angie realizes the baby to be her own with her husband Carl.
Angie is forced to confess the lie at Kate's baby shower. A horrified Kate insists that the baby could be hers as the pregnancy test could be done only after two weeks. A distance develops between the two women and the law steps in for the custody battle.
At the hearing Angie makes an heart felt apology and the DNA tests confirms that the baby is hers. A crest fallen Kate storms out to the courtroom and is confronted by Angie. Angie's water breaks and Kate is forced to rush her to the hospital and assist in the delivery. Kate faints during the delivery and a routine examination confirms her pregnancy. An ecstatic Kate and her boyfriend Rob make preparation for their baby to come home. Angie gives birth to a daughter whom she names after Gwen Stefani and she tries to involve her common-law husband in the child rearing process.
As a year passes a great bond develops between the two women. They become like sisters and bring up their children together. Kate and Rob get married and Carl tries to get involved with his daughter and all ends well. This film might be a very simplistic take on surrogacy but one has to keep in mind that this is a romantic comedy meant to entertain. Do not rush in looking for answer's to the strong emotional problems. This movie was like by critics and the audience and was one of the top grosser of 2008. A fast paced script and some splendid acting by the leading ladies like Tina Fey and Amanda Poehler makes this movie a good watch.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Directed by Frank Oz, House sitter is a romantic comedy which released in 1992, staring Steve Martin, Goldi Hawn and Dana Delany.
Steve Martin plays the beleaguered architect Newton Davis who builds a grand house for his girl friend Becky who refuses to marry him. Newton is crest fallen and, deeply in debt, he leaves the town and abandons the house to its fate. During a drunken evening at the bar, Newton spills the beans to Gwen Phillips, the waitress who comforts him. They end up spending the night together and Newton coming to his senses in the middle of the night leaves abruptly. He unintentionally leaves the blueprints of the plans at Gwen's place. Piqued by his sudden departure Gwen travels to see the dream house for herself and is charmed by the architecture. She takes up residence at the house and slowly involves herself with the community.
Gwen is a compulsive liar who changes her identity as and when she pleases. Upon buying groceries she is forced to convince the store keeper that she is Newton's wife. Soon a chain of reactions happen with Becky confronting her. To awe Becky Gwen spins a romantic tale about her meeting Newton and buys her off. Newton's heartbroken parents are also bought over by her charms and yarn.
As the town folks settle down, Newton travels to town and is surprised to find his house lived in. At first he is angry and tries to kick Gwen off the premises. But as he gets in to the groove of things he finds that the presence of Gwen to be pretty helpful. He soon hires her to make Becky jealous and to repair his relationship with his parents. Soon Newton and Gwen masquerade as a couple so as to win over Becky, upon which Gwen would get all the furniture as the price.
Newton slowly relies upon Gwen for everything and she in turn feels attached to their “marriage”. Instead of making Becky jealous, Gwen starts resenting her presence in Newton's life. She reveals that because of her inadequacies she has been forced to live a life full of lies and wants to put an end to it. At a family reception Gwen confronts Becky accusing her for trying to win over Newton and storms off. Newton thinking this to be the part of the act, praises her and follows her out. Gwen reveals her love for him and her need to work this relationship leaving Newton perplexed. Soon it dawns on everybody about the double life of Gwen and Becky comforts Newton. But Newton realizes his feelings for her and reunites with Gwen. All is well and they live happily ever after in the beautiful house.
This movie was a moderate success and not a critics favorite. It is sort of a rehashed love story which does not warm the cockles of the heart. Steve Martin plays the bumbling architect and Goldie Hawn plays his love interest pretty well. But the crackling chemistry of the duo is missing. The real star of the movie is the house which is simply beautiful. There are no high points in this predictable romantic comedy and would recommend if only you are hard pressed for choices.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Leap of Faith (released in 1992) - A movie about a faith healer, starring Steve Martin and Debra Winger
This American comedy Drama is directed by Richard Pearce and stars Steve Martin, Debra Winger, Liam Neeson and Lolita Davidovich in the lead roles. This hard hitting drama focuses on the faith healer who cons innocents in the name of god and takes from where earlier docu-drama like Elmer Gantry and Jarjoe left off.
Steve Martin stars as Jonas Nightengale who is a con-man faith healer. He holds revival meetings and defrauds the congregation with the promise of miracles. Helping him is his back stage manager, Jane who studies the floor plan convincingly and transmits the information via a small ear-piece. So all the technological marvels are used to convey where the healer could find a crippled man, or a pregnant teenager. Jonas pounces on them with his hallelujahs and with his intuition forces them to blab more about their condition. The effect is so smooth a transition from a believer to a miracle seeker.
As this faith healer show rumbles around the American small town with its special effects, technological jamboree and a gospel choir, the bus breaks down in a small town of Kansas. This impoverished town has nothing going for it as no rains have blessed the parched landscape. As the bus waits for the spare parts Jonas and Jane plan to hold a revival meeting to kill time. So the show is all set to begin if only for the small hitch in the form the local sheriff, Will Braverman. Will does not believe in all the this bunkum of miracles and sees Jonas and his troops for what they are, crooks. He wants to protect the town money from flowing in to their hands and tries his best to stop their show.
Jonas deputes Jane to seduce Braverman and Jane ends up falling for him. Jonas also falls for a pretty local waitress, Marva, who has a crippled brother, Boyd. Marva does not have faith in all the hocus pocus and Jonas takes her up as a conquest. Boyd believes in miracles and feels that Jonas can help him walk. Initially taking a caustic view, Jonas calls Boyd “Tiny Tim” and tries to palm him off. But as the movie progresses he tries to warn off Boyd as Jonas can see himself only as a crook. But a crook can also deliver hope and faith promises to be a powerful instrument for healing. In the end the crooks and the believers are forced to examine themselves.
This is one of the powerful movies of the 80's which examines faith as an instrument of influence. The first half of the movie has Steve Martin prancing about in his silver suits among dazzling lights mouthing biblical quotations and hallelujahs all the time listening to the back stage instructions. The toppling wheelchairs, the back stage plans, the market research, the listened in conversations and all the tricks of the trade of faith healing is laid bare. Steve Martin does a fantastic job of the conman with his inimical wit and cynicism. Anther notable performance is of Debra Winger as Jane who does all the back stage operations. Although her romance with the local sheriff is a bit contrived, it gives a little deviation for the story. The movie forces one to examine the process of belief and the show of believing. As Steve quotes in the movie “if I get the job done What difference does it make?” and he himself receives the answer as “It makes all the difference in the world”.
This movie received decent box office returns and also critical acclaim. It was also adapted a Broadway musical and opened successfully. Last but not the least the musical score is wonderful with the real-life singers like La Chanze, Delores Hall and Albertina Walker who do a beautiful job of playing Jonas's gospel choir. A good movie which entertains and informs.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Parenthood (released in 1989) - A comedy and drama film starring Steve Martin, Dianne Wiest, Mary Steenburgen
Every family has its dysfunctional moments. There are not Brady Bunch families where everything is hunky dory and is solved with unity and courage. In reality parents and children are individuals who make choices for their self preservation and in the process find happiness to conjoin with others with the same sensibilities.
Steve Martin stars as Gil Buckman, a highly strung sales executive who is facing extreme pressures at work. His hard driving boss forces him to spend more time in shoring up the profits for the company. Gil despises him for this extra work which keeps him away from his family and simple pleasures of life. He also draws a parallel to his father's workaholic nature which led to an estrangement. Gil wants to be an hands down dad and feels a failure when his son Kevin is diagnosed with emotional problems entailing therapy by the school psychologist. Gil's other daughter and son also have minor issues and the biggest shock comes to him when his wife Mary announces that she is pregnant with their fourth child. Gil is scared about the financial burdens the family will be put through by the arrival of his fourth child.
As Gil questions his abilities as a father, Frank searches out him to ask him about Larry, his second but wayward son. Gil is surprised when Frank tell him that he considers him to be a great father and needs his advice. His fathers trust quells Gil's heart and mends their relationship.
Meanwhile Gil's sister Helen has her own problems as her dentist husband deserts the family. Her young son Gary begins to have dysfunctional problems as his father literally disowns him. Her once brilliant daughter Julie marries a slacker Tod and gets pregnant and they live out of Helen's house. In her desperation Helen asks Tod to take Gary under his wing and a strong bond develops between the two. Helen starts respecting Tod to that extent that when Julie wants to break up with him she asks her to face her fears by supporting Tod.
Another sister of Gil's, Susan faces an over indulgent father as an husband. Her husband is excessively obsessed with his precocious daughter, Patty that he has no time for Susan. Susan craves for his attentions and longs for another child. As it becomes clear that her husband is interested in developing Patty, Susan leaves the house. With her departure the well oiled mechanism stumbles and even Patty struggles in her studies. Her husband begs her to come back and Susan asks him to consider her feelings as well.
Gil's younger brother Larry reaches Franks house with his biracial son Cool and thugs in his tow. He tries to borrow money from Frank who obliges as along as he takes over the family business. But as time passes he realizes that Larry would never be responsible and lets him go out of his life leaving Cool behind. The family is again reunited when Helen gives birth to a baby. A semblance of normality is restored as she marries Gary's biology teacher who gives Gary the emotional anchor. Julie and Tod stay together and Susan reunites with her family. Gil and Mary become parents and Frank enjoys a second chance at fatherhood with Cool. All is well that ends well.
This movie had a decent box office run and also is a critics favorite. I just feel that it is an easy take on the challenges of parenthood with problems getting solved easily. But still its a compelling story directed by Ron Howard. It has two academy award nominations to its credit with Diane West as the best supporting actress and for the best song. All the actors are lovable and identifiable in their roles and a special mention does go for Keanu Reaves's performance as a fun loving slacker who learns to be a parent. A good feel good movie.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Grand Canyon may have great actors in the pivotal roles but the movie is essentially a Lawrence Kasdan movie, philosophical and introspective. This 1991 drama has Kevin Kline, Mary MacDonnel, Steve Martin, Mary Louise-Parker and Alfre Woodard as a part of an ensemble cast. This movie tries to understands the guilt, excuses, actions and incidents which shapes a life-time.
Mac is an immigration lawyer, played by Kevin Kline, is a victim of a holdup when his car breaks down at an unsavory location. But help arrives in the form of Simon, a tow truck driver who reasons out with the mugger to let Mac go unharmed. I found this exchange one of the compelling dialogues in the movie where the young thief asks Simon whether he is respecting him because he has a gun – you can almost feel the helplessness of a person raised on violence in this statement. A relieved Mac goes home and tries to think about ways to help his guardian angel Simon. He even feels guilty of his affluent status and also the racial divide separating them. As he makes the first step he is treading on glass, but this quest does change his outlook on racial equations which makes inequality passe.
Meanwhile at Mac's house his wife is also struggling with her mundane life. But everything changes the day when she comes across an abandoned baby while jogging and decides to bring it home. Struck by the fact that somebody could abandon a human life so callously she decides to adopt it and faces lot of resistance. Mac and Claire are faced with a choice, the easier one being letting the baby go to the state and carrying on with their life. But the choice they would make would change their life completely.
Mac's best friend David, is a B-grade film maker who specializes in violent films. In-fact he berates one of his assistants (played by Lawrence Kasdan, himself) for not taking a close up of a “money shot” where the brain splatters on the window. David played by Steve Martin is nothing comparable to his funny self. His brooding face with a grey beard does not even compare to his clown persona in earlier movies. But David has his epiphany when he is shot in the leg by an assailant. During the whole process he begins to question whether his violent movies contribute to the gun culture in the society. He does the turn around, by promising himself not to make the gory film, but to devote himself for eliminating violence from cinema.
As these people turn their life around, the people associated with them also experience the change, triggering a chain of events. Kasdan captures the change beautifully which actually draws you in to the movie. Towards the ending there are no perfect answer's for life's dilemma's as all of them gather around the majestic Grand canyon for a shared vacation trip. Claire and Mac find answers by adopting the baby and coming closer to Simon, but Davis just dismisses his revelations as something temporary.
Grand Canyon is not a regular movie which has all the answers to the characters problems and everything does not end well. It is a beautifully made drama chronicling everyday life where some get the grip of it and some don't. There is no black and white pictures, but only grey foggy areas where one has to make the best of it. The camera angles and the cinematography is very alluring and it does not give the brooding dark movie sensibility which is actually attractive. One needs to just understand it with an open mind and it will soon bind you for life.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
This Steve Martin movie is light hearted and fun. It is a romantic comedy where the romance is of less importance because the chemistry between the male and female co-stars pale in front of the chemistry between the male ones. Directed by Herbert Ross and scripted by Nora Ephron this movie is based on the life of Henry Hill.
Steve Martin plays Vinnie Antonelli an Ex-Mafia don who is going to squeal on his murderous ex-buddies. So he joins the witness protection program and moves to a suburb in San-Diego to keep his detractors away. Vinnie is protected by Barney Coopersmith a stiff uptight policeman whose attention to detail gets on everybody's nerves. Vinnie's wife leaves him earlier on as she is not charmed by the domestic life of the suburbs. Same happens for Coopersmith whose wife finds his tiny habits annoying, it seems that he is so methodic that he gets equal amounts of butter on to the two halves of his waffle.
Vinnie soon settles in to the witness protection program, but you cannot keep the crime out of a mobster too long. He starts petty thieving which goes on to bigger times and frenetic night clubbing. Poor Barney Coppersmith is simply aghast and tries hard to reason with him.
Vinnie even meets up with his old pals to start a new syndicate. Hannah Stubs played by Joan Cusack is the district Attorney who tries to prosecute Vinnie for his crimes, but her actions come to a cropper because he is part of the witness protection program. At first Barney and Hannah hate each other but are thrown together a lot. So the ice melts and to Vinnie's delight, they start liking each other. Vinnie takes Barney under his wing and helps him to dress better, dance better and woo Hannah.
Meanwhile Vinnie's old pals in crime try their best to prevent him from testifying. So Vinnie does all the wonder work for Barney and together they outwit the murderous gangs of Manhattan. This laugh riot is one of the funniest movies of all times. It was a critics delight but did not exactly set the box office on fire. Just as good wine, it slowly acquired a fan following and is considered as one of the cult comic capers of the century. The story may not be an Oscar winner but the script is great, suitably interlaced with one liners which evokes laughter. The best part of it is the bonding between Vinnie and Barney and the chemistry between the two actors just raises the film to a new level. It was so that Steve Martin was to play the role of Barney and Schwarzenegger that of Vinnie. But Schwarzenegger opted out and the role was taken up by Steve Martin. Rick Moranis was brought in for Barney. No complaints there for they rock the show.
Not the least, a great hurrah for the songs in the movie. The great numbers like “New York, new york”, “Take me out to a ball game”, “the boy from New york city” and “My blue heaven” are absolute delights. You can watch this movie anytime, in any mood as it is bound to evoke the loud guffaws. Only trouble may be your neighbor's objection to your loud laughter.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
LA Story is a romantic comedy film released in 1991 staring Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant and Sarah Jessica Parker. It was scripted by Steve Martin who also donned the role of the executive producer. Directed by Mick Johnson it has a cult following as it celebrates the real LA way of life.
Steve Martin stars as Haris. K. Telemacher, who is a news meteorologist in a meaningless relationship with his girlfriend Trudi. He soon gets tired of his monotonous routine and craves for that magic and excitement. At a luncheon he meets Sara, a journalist from London and is instantly attracted towards her. Shackled by his own relationship a tired Haris looses control of his car which careens off the road on to the pavement, crashing on to a street sign.
After the initial shock Haris soon realizes that the street sign he crashed in to is actually flashing messages for him. He soon takes the cue and tries to kindle a relationship with Sara. Sara too feels the attraction but feels a duty towards her ex-husband Rowland. She had pledged to rekindle her relationship with her ex-husband and feels burdened by it.
Haris, going, with the advice from the sign board decides to charter his own path. Afraid about the impossibility of an relationship with Sara he goes out with a ditzy blonde SandDEe. SandDEe a wannabe model is a perfect airhead but still Haris moves along with her. During their dates he comes to know that Trudi is cheating on him with his agent and this information sets him free. He, geting hold of his life, tries once again with Sara. But this time the road block is because of Sandra and the sign board again helps him. He does get his wish and the right thing in his life.
This movie was the 20th best film of the last century as voted by the LA Times. It wowed the critics and the audience being one of the top grosser for 1991. This comedy also being a satire is a look in to the city of Los Angeles and its people. It has all the ingredients of the LA life, with Hollywood coming in with frequent references. Apart from the lead actors, there are also uncredited appearances from Chevy Chase, Woody Harrelson, Paula Abdul, Martin Lawrence, Rick Moranis and Terry Jones. The soundtrack and the music of this movie has a great fan following. Three songs from Enya, “Exile”, “on your shore” and “Epona” can also be heard in the movie.
Steve Martin as usual excels in his role superbly assisted by Victoria Tennant. The one liners and the conversations between them never fail to evoke the chuckle and at the same time says something about the love unattained. SandDEe played by Sarah Jessica Parker is another amazing actress and plays the airhead to perfection. According to the movie she is a “spokesmodel” which actually is a model who speaks and to top it all she is taking a course for it. More than the story, I really liked the movie for its quotable quotes and to have them on your repertoire would spice up any conversation. Just as Steve Martin's character Haris says in the movie "Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." but still the laughter goes on.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
How can you wipe away years of stereotypical notions and distrust about the other side of the line? Bringing Down the House, is a comical look into the racial stereotypes ingrained in to the American psyche where color decides the quality of life you lead. Directed by Adam Shankman, the movie stars Steve Martin and Queen Latifah, and is about the coming together of two radically different people and understanding life better.
Peter Sanderson is an uptight successful lawyer whose work compulsions has driven a wedge in his marital life. Peter and his wife Jean are separated and he tries hard to connect with his children. But work pressures, competitive partners and bosses keep him away from home. He tries to date the mysterious “Lawyer Girl” to improve his love life and becomes besotted by the picture she sends him. But soon it is revealed that the photo had Charlene Morton, an over-weight African American convict who was trying to get Peter to fight her case. Charlene lands up at stunned Peter's doorstep pleading for him to take up her case as she had been wrongfully incarcerated. When Peter refuses she blackmails him by threatening to make their conversations public. So after a lot of hiccups he agrees to look in to her case and asks her to masquerade as the children's nanny for the while.
On the work front Peter and his partner Howie try hard to impress Mrs Virgine Arness, an eccentric billionairess to get her to transfer some of her business. Mrs Harness is very condescending to the black community and Peter tries hard to placate Charlene who explodes after her insensitive actions. It is extremely hilarious when Charlene's trick of spiking Mrs. Arness's food comes a cropper with Peter consuming the whole concoction subsequently spending the whole evening hopping to the bathroom. Amidst all controversies, Howie takes a shine to Charlene and even the Sanderson kids get to like her. Charlene teaches Peter to loosen up and slowly brings him closer to Jean, his wife.
Peter regrets his earlier actions and agrees to fight Charlene's conviction. He gathers evidence about her boyfriend who had framed her and overturns the verdict. Charlene and Howie get hitched and Peter reconciles with his wife. Mrs. Arness after a mind-boggling night out with fellow black Americans gets to renew her outlook on life and start life afresh. Her business helps Peter to start on his own, away from his catty competitive colleagues.
This movie is a refreshing look at the underlying racial inequities in American society. The perceived notions about the colored people by the white upper class is laid bare and also the movie offers a insight in to the black societies. It is a feel good movie where the triumph of human sensibilities over narrow walls of race and wealth. It sure tickles your funny bone in-spite of tackling such a weighty issue. The movie was both a critical and box office success. Steve Martin was nominated for the MTV award for the best dance sequence. Queen Latifah for her zesty portrayal won the Teen choice awards and the NACCP awards for the best actress. Her fight with Jean's sister Allison also garnered her the eyeballs.
A great movie for shooing away boring weekends.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Bowfinger is a comedy film starring Steve Martin, Heather Graham and Eddie Murphy in pivotal roles. Directed by Frank Oz and scripted by Steve Martin himself, this movie is a spoof about the the film making business in Hollywood and also the church of Scientology. Over the years it has acquired a cult following and is considered one of the leading comedies of the time.
Bobby Bowfinger is an out of luck director who wants to direct a movie on his own, the only problem being “cash”. His entire savings of 2184 dollars would not even come close to encourage his desire. His film “Chubby rain” is penned by an accountant friend. With another friend as the cameraman he pitches his case to a studio executive. The studio agrees to finance the movie only if he could get the current heartthrob Kit Ramsey to star in it. So Bowfinger formulates this entire plan of getting Kit on board without even having him know about it.
Kit Ramsey played delightfully by Eddie Murphy is a pompous, neurotic actor and he refuses Bowfinger's offer. Kit is an avid follower of the cult Mindhead which believes in Aliens and other supernatural things. After their indoctrination Kit's personality often borders along psychotic to plain wacky crazy. Bowfinger selects out of luck and work actors who do not have a clue about Kit's refusal. They all give their best actions believing him to be a part of the movie.
So you have delightful scenes of Heather Graham giving her lines to a zapped Murphy whose dazed expression is captured on camera. But soon all the sci-fi dialogue of Chubby Rain makes Ramsey crazy enough to believe that Aliens are after him and he goes in to hiding. The shoot gets stalled and the actors and crew have to think up new solutions.
They soon come across Jiff who is a splitting image of Kit Ramsey and Bowfinger hires him to get the rest of the scenes on camera. Jiff is amiable and nice but clueless with no acting talent. But it is soon revealed that he is the real life brother of Ramsey and the crew makes him feel great about this one talent of his - to look like Kit Ramsey. Meanwhile the Mindhead organization soon finds out that the aliens Ramsey is scared about is not in his imagination. They track down Bowfinger and shut the shoot down. When the chips are down, luck favors the crew as they watch a canned candid camera moments where Ramsey exposes to a cheerleader squad. Armed with evidence Bowfinger blackmails Mindhead Church and the elders persuades Ramsey to be a part of the movie. So the movie is completed and at the premiere Kit Ramsey attends with the suitable arm candy in the form of Heather Graham. Bowfinger gets further movie offers and Jiff gets to be a part of it with his brother.
This delightful comedy was a critics and audience favorite. It remained one of the top grosser of 1998 only to be bested by Sixth sense. The comic timing and the acting for all the cast members are just above par. Highly recommended to lift the moods.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Father of the Bride Part II (released in 1995) - A sequel to the 1991 version, starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton
This movie is the sequel to the hugely successful Father of the Bride which was originally released in 1991. Directed by Robert Townsend, this movie was released in 1995 and once again stars, Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Martin Short and Kimberly Paisley in pivotal roles with Eugene Levy as Dr. Habib. This movie is also the remake of the 1950 film, Father's little dividend starring Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett. The story and plot has many similarities but the original version is still not in the public domain.
George Banks after the wedding goes back to his life, and is currently going through a mid life crisis. He wishes to fight the world which makes him old and too set in his ways. He surprises his wife with wacky opinions and a crazy youthful outlook. Nina as usual is nice and understanding but glosses over the “lets be crazy again fluff”. This youthful image is shattered when Annie announces that she is about to be a mother which would ultimately make George a grandparent. George, just as he was not ready to share his daughter, cannot give away his youth. So what does George do, he rebels, goes on a rampage to drink from the fountain of youth, only to realize its gone.
A series of accidents forces George and Nina out of their house and their one night of madness makes Nina pregnant. Nina is ecstatic, but George is shattered, when visions of feeding times and tantrums fill up his mind. Even Annie rebels against her mother for stealing her thunder. But the family rally around a hurt Nina and George once again gets ready for a celebration. But his neuroses is not helped by the arrival of the wacky, zany Franck who promises a grand baby shower for the mothers to be.
So its back to coughing up the moolah to please the girls in his life. A grand baby shower with pelicans and bows followed by double deliveries with the help of crazy Dr. Habib, its classic Steve Martin revelry.
Father of the Bride II does not live up to its predecessor as the characters are too stereotyped. The lives are too amazing to be believed even for a romantic comedy. The antics of Steve Martin is the sole saving grace as he shoulders the entire film on his shoulders. All the other actors chip in with good performances, but they have nothing much to do. The notable feature again is the back ground music by Alan Silvestri which has some great tunes.
This movie was a moderate success but not a critics favorite. It is a feel good movie for the family, but has nothing much to offer. Steve Martin was nominated for American Comedy Award for Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture and also for the golden globes that year for this picture. If you have nothing much to do, and you are a Steve martin Fan, one can catch up with this movie, but do not expect the sparks to fly.