By Brian Saur
This film was a discovery I was originally turned onto by the ‘80s All Over Podcast. Scott Weinberg professed his affection for it on one the episodes and got me on board (as did seeing the cast - which had a great deal of appeal). Written by Neil Simon, this film features one of Chevy Chase's best performances and yet another charming turn from Goldie Hawn. It also reminded me how much I miss Charles Grodin in movies these days and that I love that there was a time when he was the kind of high profile actor that headline.
The year is 1971 and a group of University of Texas fraternity boys called 'The Groovers' make one final pilgrimage to go and get their friend "Dom." A screwball-roadtrip-adventure comedy from the director of WATERWORLD. It's a film that shows a great deal of love and affection and features great performances from a young Kevin Costner & Judd Nelson. Put out by Amblin.
A Tarantino favorite. He was quoted in Empire as follows: "Fandango is one of the best directorial debuts in the history of cinema. I saw Fandango five times at the movie theater and it only played for a f*cking week, all right."
I am fascinated by high budget failures. Just to see any large-scale vision realized is often compelling to me. Many of these flops are floppy for a reason (i.e. they suuuck), but occasionally there are those films that, had been released 5-10 years later, might have really found an audience. MYSTERY MEN is not wholly successful as a super hero film or a comedy, but there is really a lot to like here. From all the oddball heroes and villains (and the comedy derived therein) to the very stylish production design, I see more and more worthwhile stuff with each viewing. It feels like the love child of Terry Gilliam and McG or something. The frenzy for superhero movies being what it is right now, I really can't imagine that this one wouldn't have garnered much greater success if it had come out now.
This high school romance flick is a nice little twist on CAN'T BUY ME LOVE and has some heart to it despite succumbing to some obvious tropes. On top of that it was produced by Amy Robinson who also had a hand in a few of my favorites like AFTER HOURS, BABY IT'S YOU and CHILKY SCENES OF WINTER. While DRIVE ME CRAZY isn't on par with those gems, it is still a very pleasant diversion into well trodden genre territory. Would make a nice double with 2015's sleeper gem THE DUFF.
I'm a ridiculous goof for getting caught up in this one, which offers another something in the ballpark of a CAN'T BUY ME LOVE-type plotline, but it a mixes up the story in enough of an interesting way that I can't help myself. Jennifer Anniston has always charmed me in her comedic roles and I never thought that Jay Mohr would hook me emotionally as well as he does in this one. Your mileage may vary, but I was absolutely enchanted by it.
How this raunchy ‘80s comedy passed me by all these years is beyond me, but it is just the kind of low-brow, un-PC-fest that I used to like very much as a kid and still enjoy to this day. Now I've been a Michael O'Keefe fan since CADDYSHACK, but I've always liked him as more of a smartass than he was in that movie. He can play charismatic, strange and funny along the lines of Chevy Chase if given the opportunity. And with somebody goofy like Paul Rodriguez to play off of, he's even better. Especially when Rodriguez plays a boorish brute with absolutely no filter whatsoever (almost aggressively so at times). O'Keefe and Rodriguez make a nice duo of slobs to take on the snobs in this one and having Eddie Deezen, Marsha Warfield and Denholm Elliott to back them up is pretty fantastic. From John Byrum, the director of INSERTS.
Brian Saur is a podcaster and blogger from Los Angeles that specializes in cult and classic films. He is co-host of the Pure Cinema Podcast and also produces and hosts another show called Just the Discs, which focuses on Blu-rays. He has run the Rupert Pupkin Speaks website since its inception in 2009 and continues to highlight obscure cinematic gems there on a regular basis. Follow him on Twitter (@bobfreelander, @justthediscspod, @purecinemapod), Facebook, or Instagram for more film recommendations.