FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Father ot the Bride (PC) (Charles Shyer, US, 1991) Steve Martin, Diane ‘ Keaton, Kimberly Williams, Martin Short. 105 mins. Dkay, wedding party: everybody smile at the camera. And keep on smiling, even though it isn’t really funny and youriaws are beginning to ache. Because when they say ‘cheese' at this nuptial celebration, there’s a strong whlll ot gorgonzola in the air. I’m not saying that Father ol the Bride stinks, but when the minister asks it anyone knows oi any reason why this couple shouldn’t be spliced, I'll be shouting trom the church root and calling in the whole 105 minutes at over-sentimentalised, patronising ‘comedy’ as my witness.
While the 1950 Spencer Tracy/ Elizabeth Taylor original succeeded as an enchanting tale centred on a jealous lather unwilling to accept that the apple ol his eye is about to get married, Shyer’s 1991 remake is so busy being painfully and predictably nice that it turns the audience’s stomach as surely as being lorce-led the entire wedding cake. Martin screws up his lace in middle-aged emotional torture, while Keaton and the rest oi the tamin (including Kieran Culkin, Macaulay’s little bruv) roll their eyes and smile to themselves about just how silly Dad is being. And that’s basically it- grimace, smile, roll; grimace, smile, roll. it the American Dentists Association gave out lilm awards this year, Father of the Bride would walk
Father ol the Bride: ‘oversentimentallsed, patronising comedy’
away with the top prize.
Admittedly, there are a lew Martin set-pieces, but in the middle at a supposedly gentle romantic comedy, they teel more ‘slapned-on’ than ‘slapstick’. Equally out at place is Martin Short’s toppish wedding consultant, whose thick loreign accent seems to have wandered in from ’Allo, ’Allo and aims torthe same level oi comic sophistication. It really isn’t surprising to discover that this lilm comes lrom Disney’s Touchstone stable, because it is a typical example at their sell-satislied moralising, a trademark that threatens to lead the industry down a very narrow and cliche-ridden road. (Alan Morrison)
From Fri 21: Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Ddeon, Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Dominion, Ddeon, UCI. Central: Allanpark, Cannon. Strathclyde: Kelbume, Ddeon Ayr, Ddeon Hamilton, UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.
THE FAVOUR; THE WATCH AND THE VERY BIG FISH
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The Favour, the Watch and to Very Big Fish: ‘sloppy patchwork’
The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish (15) (Ben Lewin, France/UK, 1991) Bob Hoskins, Jell Goldblum, Natasha Richardson, Michel Blanc. 89 mins. The Favour: photographer lioskins stands In tor a sick lriend and linds himsell dubbing a porno llick with the desirable Ms Richardson. The Watch: given by Richardson to pianist Goldblum In llashback belore he goes lovestruck psycho and gets thrown in prison. The Very Big Fish: completely pointless large prop that appears on-screen tor about 30 seconds. Put them all together and you get a tairly unremarkable comedy that’s almost as clumsy as the title ltselt.
To expand on the plotlines above: llosklns specialises in devotional photographs and is on the lookout tor a suitable lace tor a planned series
depicting the tile 01 Christ. Goldblum, slipping ellortlessly into the oddball roles he is in danger at being weighed down by, has the required pained expression and lacial hair to play a surrogate Son oi Man, and on his release from prison, he dons the crown ot thorns. Both, unbeknown to each other, are in love with the elusive Richardson. Writer/director Lewin expands Marcel Ayme’s pre-war short story, but ends up with a sloppy patchwork ol love interest and underused supporting characters, with only a lew moments of inspired blasphemy to recommend it. Not only that, the largely French cast is often badly dubbed and the humour, it that is what it is, seems to have sullered in translation.
The overall impression is not ol a coherent, tightly constructed tarce but a promising draft that requires extensive reworking. A metaphorical search lor Christ it may be, and some individuals involved certainly could have benelitted irom some spiritual guidance; in tact, divine intervention at an early stage of production might not have been a bad move. As it is, The Favour is, at best, mildly amusing; at worst, instantly lorgetable. Hosklns et al are probably happy enough iust to have made a lew extra lrancs on the side. (Alan Morrison)
From Fri 14: Glasgow: Cannon The
Forge, Ddeon. Edinburgh: Ddeon, UCI.
mins. Gory crazed killer movie set in a small mining town on the anniversary of a cave-in and the murders carried out by the sole survivor. A Valentine‘s Day dance. a group of youngsters chilling out at the pithead and a masked. pick-axe-wielding murderer all add up to atmOSpheric horror. A great example of brutal chills that was butchered on its video release. See the blood ﬂow in full on the big screen. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank.
I MyBirt (PG) (Howard Zieff. US. 1991) Macaulay Cuikin. Dan Aykroyd. Jamie Lee Curtis. Anna Chlumsky. 102 mins. A millionaire and not yet in his teens — don‘t you just love Macaulay Cuikin (he said through clenched teeth). This time he‘s sorting out the lives ofhis tomboy neighbour and her widowed mortician dad. A kiddies‘ romance with a (literal) stingin the tail. Also with the best character name in recent months (can you imagine admittingto knowing someone called Vada Sultenfuss?) General release.
I Problem Child 2 (PG) (Brian Levant. US. 1991) John Ritter. Michael Oliver. Laraine Newman, lvyann Schwan. Ho hum. No sooner have we got over suffering the stomach-churning sweetness of My Girl and Curly Sue than it's time for the return ofthe pre-pubescent. bow tie-clad Junior (Oliver) from 1990's Problem Child. This time he and his surrogate father are trying to come to terms with the excess of single women in their new home town. As if we cared. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchichail Street. All UCls.
I Prospero’s Books ( 18) (Peter Greenaway, UK. 1991)John Gielgud. Michael Clark. isabeiie Pasco. Michel Blanc. 125 mins. Greenaway transforms Shakespeare's The Tempest into a visual feast by using groundbreaking High Deﬁnition Television technology. Gielgud delivers a near-definitive Prospero. backed up by an impressive European cast. and Michael Nyman‘s score is perhaps his best yet. A ﬁlm like no other. immersed in illusion as both subject matter and form. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.Centra1: MacRobert Arts Centre.
I Dulck Change (15) (Howard Franklin & Bill Murray. US. 1990) Bill Murray. Geena Davis. Randy Quaid. Jason Robards. 89 mins. Robbinga bank. as anyone will tell you. is easier than getting out of New York City. and that's the central premise on which this moderatelyenjoyable Murray vehicle hinges. Together with his partners in crime (Davis and Quaid). Murray undergoes a number of NYC-style traumas and comes out with an abundance ofeasy charm and dry wit. But overall he doesn‘t take enough risks to make Quick Change in any way outstanding. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
I Raise The Red Lantern (PG) (Zhang Yimou. China/Japan, 1991) Gong Li. Ma Jingwa. He Caifei. Cao Cuifeng. 125 mins. Zhang. director of In Don and Red Sorghum, again combines exquisitely beautiful photography with formalised melodrama. but this time creates one ofthe most moving films to appear anywhere on the world circuit in recent years. Essentially the tale ofa young girl forced to become a concubine and the jealousies she encounters in her fortress home, it also acts as a metaphor for the repression of individual passions in post-Tiananmen China. See preview. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Rambling Rose (15) (Martha Coolidge. US. 1991) Laura Dcrn. Robert Duvall. Diane Ladd. Lukas Haas. John Heard. 110 mins. Sleepy Georgia of 1935 is the setting for this coming-of-age period piece in which a barefoot farm girl is taken in by a more prosperous family. Rose (Dern) is a naive temptrcss and among those who fall for her simple charms are thirteen-year-old Buddy (Lukas Haas of Witness fame). A delicately handled, ﬁnely balanced movie that oozes with nostalgia. Glasgow: OH". I Recollections DlTlie Yellow Rouse ( 15) (Joao Cesar Monteiro. Portugal. 1989) Joao Cesar Monteiro. 120 mins. Unusual. deadpan black comedy. starring its director as a sleazy hypochondriac who harbours undesirable ailments and suppressed desires for his stern landlady‘s daughter in almost equal measure. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Rescuers Down Under (U) (Hendel Butoy/Mike Gabriel. US. 1990) With the voices of Bob Newhart. Eva Gabor, John Candy. George C. Scatt. 77 mins. Miss Bianca and Bernard. the two top mouse agents from the intemationai Rescue Aid Society. this time journey to the Australian outback in order to help an eight-year-old boy protect an endangered eagle from a ruthless poacher. Disney's 29th fuli~length animated feature uses state-of-the-art animation techniques to give more of an action/adventure slant to this sequel to 1977‘s The Rescuers. which is still a favourite of Disney fans of all ages. Central: Regal.
I Rhapsody in August (U) (Akira Kurosawa.
J apan. 1991) Richard Gere, Sachiko Murase. Hidetaka Yoshioka. 104 mins. A poetic and elegaic work from octogcnerian Kurosawa. On the 45th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.
a survivor and her grandchildren ﬁnd out that her long-lost brother. who emigrated to Hawaii, isstill alive. Beautifully observed characters are placed in a wonderfully expressive landscape. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Robin Hood: Prince DlThleves ( 12) (Kevin Reynolds. US. 1991) Kevin Costner. Morgan
Freeman. Christian Slater. Alan Rickman. 147 mins. Second outing of the year for the Nottingham legend. this time with Hollywood's golden boy in the title role. Costner‘s Robin slips into indiana Jones mode as he sets about undoing the wrongs of Rickman‘s scene-stealing Sheriff in a way that is wonderfully reminiscent of the best Saturday matinee swashbucklers. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. I The Rocky ilorror Picture Show ( 18) (Jim Sharman. UK. 1975) Tim Curry. Susan Sarandon. Barry Bostwick. Meat Loaf. 100 mins. The cult ﬁlm to end all others. this rock spoof on old horror movies has created a breed of Rocky Horror crazies. and packs them in at late shows everywhere. The ﬁlm has its moments. and Curry is splendidly camp as the bisexual Frank N. Funer. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Romeald and Juliette (Coline Serreau. France. 1989) Daniel Auteuii. Firmine Richard. 118mins. Winning serio-comic love story in which hard-nosed business exec falls for his black cleaning lady. As their affair breaks down both class and racial barriers. her shrewd insight into the absurdity of corporate power-broking helps him to discover a new set of more worthwhile values. Serreau comes up with an insightful and funny examination of the way we live now. though it does bear a highly coincidental resemblance to the outline of Pretty Woman! Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Salaam Bombayl (15) (Mira Nair. lndia/France/UK. 1988) Shaﬁq Syed. Raghubir Yadav, Aneeta Kanwar. 113 mins. A marvellous movie shot on location in Bombay. which records the lives of the city‘s thronging street urchins. focusing on young Krishna‘s descent into a seedy underworld of prostitution and narcotics as he tries to earn his fare back to his native village. This auspicious debut from lndian woman ﬁlm-maker Nair avoids the obvious. and makes its moral points through its sympathy for the remarkable children whose indomitable spirit is convincingly captured by the former documentarist‘s camera. Glasgow: Gi-T. I Santa Sangre(18) (AlexandroJodorowsky. italy/Mexico. 1989) Axel Jodorowsky. Blanca Guerra. Guy Stockwell. 118 mins. Against the backdrop of a circus. young Fenix witnesses horrifying events when his strongman father commits suicide after dismembering the boy's mother. Committed for 20 years. he eventually escapes. only to find the maternal bonds still strong. driving him to kill any woman he ﬁnds attractive. Jodorowsky‘s film is deliberatley disturbing and provocative, but its visual imagination makes it a landmark in cinematic surrealism. Glasgow: GFT. I Shirley Valentine ( 15) (Lewis Gilbert. UK. 1989) Pauline Collins. Bernard Hill. Tom Conti. 110 mins. Gilbert‘s screen version of the celebrated Willy Russell play. now expanded from a monologue to include Hill as the insensitive hubby and Conti as the Greek bit of stuff Shirley meets on a Mediterranean holiday that turns intoa voyage of self-(re)discovery. Collins is outstanding in the title role of frustrated Liverpudlian housewife. Strathclyde: UCi Clydebank. I Silence Oi Th9 Lambs (18) (Jonathan Demme. US. 1991)Jodie Foster. Anthony Hopkins. Scott Glenn. 119 mins. Following a series of horrific serial murders. imprisoned psycho-killer H0pkins is released to help Foster and Glenn‘s FBI agents track down the culprit. Adapted from a novel by Thomas Manhunter Harris. Demme‘s ﬁlm version is a subtle but scary suspense shocker, with two excellent performances and great narrative drive. Glasgow: GFI‘. I Snow White and the Seven Dwarls (U) (Walt Disney, US. 1937) With the voices ofAdriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell. Lucille La Verne. 83 mins. One of the most enchanting and inﬂuential of animated features. The central character isa mite wet but the individualistic dwarfs. memorable songs, superbly crafted backdrops and characters make this an essential cinematic experience. General release. I La Shade (15) (Frederico Feilini.1taiy.i954) Guilietta Masina. Anthony Quinn. Richard Basehart. 115 mins. Fellini‘s wife Masina is unforgettable as a simple-minded girl in love with iarger-than-life circus strongman Zampano (Quinn), who dies ofa broken heart when he kills the gentle tightrope-walker (Basehart) who had befriended her. Painful story of loneliness and isolation whose vividly seedy small-town backgrounds never allow sentimentality to set in. Glasgow: OFT. I Star‘irek Vi: The Undiscovered Coentry(PG) (Nicholas Meyer, US. 1991) William Shatncr. Leonard Nimoy, DeForrcst Kelley, James Doohan. 109 mins. See review.
To The List 14— 27 February 1992