Friday, April 14, 2017
SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER (1993)
Directed By: Thomas Schlamme
Written By: Robbie Fox
Cinematography By: Julio Macat
Editor: Colleen Halsey & Richard Halsey
Cast: Mike Myers, Nancy Travis, Anthony LaPaglia, Brenda Fricker, Amanda Plummer, Charles Grodin, Phil Hartman, Steven Wright,Michael Richards, Greg Germann, Cynthia Frost, Debi Mazar, Matt Doherty, Fred Ornstein
Charlie, a poet, hasn't had much luck with women, but then he meets Harriet, the girl of his dreams.. or is it his nightmares. Charlie begins to suspect that Harriet is Ms X, a woman who marries then kills her husbands.
This film strangely feels like pop art. It keeps trying to fit in even though it has it's eccentricities. That make it an ill fit, but kind of works. As it positions the film as constantly being awkward.
It also seemed like the film was aimed and marketed to the youth of those years. That mike Myers clearly didn't identify with or get. He definitely didn't identify with them as much as with his previous character/effort WAYNE'S WORLD. Which wasn't solo written by him, but it was a character he created and helped shape. So here it comes off a little like Buster Keaton in Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello teenage surf movies. There to be seen and laughed at more than identified with or imagine a 30 year old doing Henry Youngman or George Burns jokes and you can begin to see the oddity.
It’s not written by him, but you can feel his influence all over the script.
As it comes down to humor. It is obvious Mike Myers taps into his skills and passions. Which is usually building films around a comedic character of his own invention who is over the top outrageous. He also enjoys playing multiple characters. He tends to try to be a modern peter sellers. As most of his films also while funny feel like an extended skit or a series of skits inhabited by the same characters. Here like Peter Sellers he doesn't exactly know how to dial it down and play normal. So the main character he plays here is mild mannered and kind of funny, but comes off as shy. Where as when he plays his Scottish father. He seems more comfortable as it allows him to be big and over the top. Leaving him to be one of the more memorable characters. Which is strangely where he feels more heartfelt and overall comfortable.
The film does allow him to tap into his creativeness but feels bogged down by a more conventional story and plot.
What he does tap into here is that it is his only romantic comedy. That feels shoehorned into being that rather than an OUT and out comedy. Though it also struggles with being part of the hipster times though realizes how silly the "FRIENDS" generation might be.
The film does well of playing out the ridiculous paranoia of being in a relationship and looking for ways out of it out of fear. Only here to the nth degree and with a kind of payoff to those fears of sorts.
The film feels displaces as it seems to want to be a 70's type comedy (even the title more comes across as a tabloid) that has it's own language and mood, but seems stuck in the 90's and forced to fit in with it's culture and moods. Which is why it feels all over the place, but plays more into 90's trends. As the film tries to be modern and find it's footing.
The film is very colorful with vibrant bright colors continuous in the backgrounds.
Though he obviously wants to be the main attraction he lets the supporting characters be more offbeat than funny. Like Anthony LaPaglia as his police detective friend who dresses like he is in the 70's and expected his job to be more like police dramas of that same era.
The film feels fun as it tries something new and different every few scenes to keep it lively.
The film is filled with cameos by comedic actors but the biggest scene stealer is actually Charles Grodin. His dead pan responses are just so dry. It is hard not to die laughing at his scenes.
The film could use stronger direction, especially visually. Though the direction goes show a lot of effort. Which is a good thing. As the director tries to shine a light on his skills, while playing up Mike Myers brand of comedy.
The film ends up fun overall though will test your endurance level as a fan of mike Myers and his comedy. It also seems like a film to test his skills as a solo leading man at the time.