TV & Film
Cheap laughs are a dime a dozen, but truly witty comedies are something to be cherished. A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988) is so well-layered that it is nearly unflappable. While doused with inappropriate humor, this black comedy has something for nearly everyone. Keep up with this one, and you may be surprised at how a “comedy crime caper” can pack such a big wallop.
▶️ (02:20) A British gangster and his trusty, yet dim friend conspire with a shady lady and her scheming partner to pull off a bank heist. After succeeding, but the leader is pinched by the cops, the plot turns into seducing a defense lawyer and killing the only witness to the robbery. After that, it’s every thief for themselves. Monty Python’s John Cleese and Michael Palin team up with Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline for this extreme and fast-paced comedy blended with perfectly-timed curveballs. We’ll discuss how the charming, all-star cast gels together, and go behind the scenes into the formation of this original story. We’ll also touch on the repeated comical use animal violence, American vs. British styles of humor and the film’s mild sex-comedy swing.
▶️ (40:36) PICKS OF THE WEEK: Lindsay sticks to the comedy realm with WANDA’s Kevin Kline starring in SOAPDISH (1991). Jam-packed with a who’s who of Hollywood, SOAPDISH follows the cast of a failing soap opera and how real-life drama bleeds into the storyline of the fictional TV show. Justin opts for another star-studded cast in GRANDVIEW, U.S.A. (1984). Set in a Midwestern small town, WANDA’S Jamie Lee Curtis is a gruff, demolition derby owner who has secret affairs with a teenager and a married man. While this coming-of-age movie drifts in and out of characters’ lives, it is an inspiring peak into the budding careers of future big-name actors.
▶️ (55:40) MURRAYMOMENT: Ever hear of the Beatles parody film, The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (1978)? WANDA’s Michael Palin, countless Saturday Night Live players and Bill “Murray the K” amp up this mockumentary which predates Spinal Tap by six years.
We know comedies are subjective. And in order for one to truly have a lasting effect on a mass audience, a comedy must stand the test of time. We dare say that A FISH CALLED WANDA has just that — a storyline so involved and delightful that it still has a spell-binding effect on audiences 30+ years later. You’ll surely never think of “fish and chips” the same way again.
Episode 50 : The Abyss
Episode 49 : Pee-wee's Big Adventure
Episode 48 : True Romance
Episode 47 : Misery
Episode 46 : I Shot Andy Warhol
Episode 45 : The Thing (1982)
Episode 44 : Thelma & Louise
Episode 43 : The Warriors
Episode 42 : Uncle Buck
Episode 41 : 80's vs 90's Slashers
Episode 40 : The Blob (1988)
Episode 39 : Candyman
Episode 38 : The Burbs
Episode 37 : Eraserhead
Episode 36 : Coming To America
Episode 35 : Deliverance
Episode 34 : Magnolia
Episode 33 : RE-ANIMATOR
Episode 32 : New Jack City
Episode 31 : But I'm A Cheerleader
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