Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love At First Sight

(Rex Bromfield, 1976)
Dan Aykroyd's deadpan (in his first-ever theatrical feature) and Mary Ann McDonald's mousy charm mesh well with director Bromfield's measured comic style, and their tale of a young woman falling for a blind guy keeps giving up unexpected small moments of visual wit. The bizarrely emphatic barrage of KFC product placements is finally rendered overtly hilarious when Colonel Sanders himself shows up in the park. And the liberal message of tolerance in opposition to McDonald's rampaging redneck dad is administered gently, with a fairly generous extension of goodwill to harmless outsiders of various stripes (crazy old people, stutterers) and a good deal of genially tasteless humour growing out of the blind guy himself. But tolerance is one thing and comprehension another. In various scenes this blind guy seems to also be incapable of hearing obvious sound information, of tasting the difference between fish food and black pepper, of feeling the edge of a piece of paper, and of having the brains not to leave clutter in the footpath of his own stairwell. Either no one here has ever met a real blind person, or else the spirit of on-set improvisation needed a sterner directorial hand. And verbal wit? See title.

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