Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Meatballs 3

(George Mendeluk, 1986)
Arriving well past the peak of its generic cycle, this candid piece of crap actually appears to be aiming at self-critique - convoluting the 80s sex comedy the way "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" went meta on the slasher movie. By sending Sally Kellerman's dead porn star to offer the geek (Patrick Dempsey!!) her purposefully dubious romantic advice, the movie bids to hold the shallow moral code of the entire genre up to the light. Without suggesting any positive alternative beyond its tauntingly limited critique of 'no means yes', it gently nudges its core audience to examine those values while throwing a lifeline to outsiders willing to pay attention. Unfortunately, the approach lends no additional resonance to the typically multitudinous boob shots and sun-and-surf montages scored to Loverboy songs. At least they netted some solid thespian support for their efforts - George Buza is a riot as Mean Gene, Shannon Tweed has fun earning her Love Goddess title, and Al Waxman and Maury Chaykin enliven their disappointingly fleeting bits. But just as the first Meatball triumphed by marginalizing the deluded creeps, the third one stumbles by shunting aside the one likable human being in the entire narrative. We want Isabelle Mejias! We want Isabelle Mejias!

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