Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Deal

(Barry Healy, 1985)
This corny, anachronistic, measly excuse for a film has problems that only begin with the erratic cinematography and atrocious, hyper-literal musical score. Healy's only feature as director stretches the farce-of-misunderstanding to its limit, relying on speed and clutter to distract us from some extremely questionable turns of logic. And yet, somehow, the movie steamrolls past its failings to take on a good deal of clunky charm. Most of this can be attributed to the performers, literally dozens of third-stringer pros who attack the material like a starving man at a banquet; they are so enthusiastic that the quality of the material almost becomes irrelevant. It's particularly entertaining to watch the heterosexual flirtations of several transparently gay actors, including Louis Negin in his pre-Guy Maddin days, but from the horny housewife to the Scottish hit man to the suicidal East Indian fellow, virtually every actor brings the shtick. Even the Rick Moranis and Al Waxman stand-ins are tolerable. And the pervasive sexism is so received that it doesn't offend; it's adult sexism, give-the-people-what-they-want dinner theatre type stuff. In fact, with Honest Ed's a principal location and Anne Mirvish popping by as a secretary, this movie could hardly exist without the benign, showy, proudly mercenary example of Saint Ed Mirvish himself.

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