Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Only the Lonely

Year 2, Day 48 - 2/17/10 - Movie # 413

BEFORE: From Eugene Levy in "Serendipity" to his SCTV castmate John Candy...

THE PLOT: A Chicago cop must balance loyalty to his overbearing mother and a relationship with a shy funeral home worker.

AFTER: I was a big SCTV fan back in the day - I used to stay up late on Friday nights and watch the show, NBC ran it at like 1 am, which probably caused my insomnia later on...

This is something of a departure for John Candy, it's not silly comedy but something closer to a dramatic role...but note that he went right back to silly comedies after this. He's devoted to his dominating Irish mother, played by Maureen O'Hara, and the implication is that he can't form a lasting relationship with a woman, since his mother's influence looms large in his life. She's also quite racist, with something to say about Italians, Greeks, Mexicans, etc. It must be challenging to play a racist character who also needs to be somewhat likable - late in the movie, she makes an honest effort to change, and that certainly helps.

Candy's character, Danny Muldoon, has these fantasy sequences where his mother dies in tragic accidents, which portrays the level of his devotion and his Catholic guilt - if he doesn't call her every so often, then she's dead in a car accident or a robbery, and it was all his fault.

Ally Sheedy plays his love interest, who's got her own issues, being an introverted funeral-home cosmetologist, but she eventually learns to assert herself so she can have an honest relationship without sneaking around behind Mrs. Muldoon's back.

The movie seems kind of like an improv act, after asking the audience for a U.S. city (Chicago!), 2 professions (cop! Funeral home worker!) and a situation (2 people falling in love!) It's not laugh-out-loud funny, but it's charming enough.

Also starring Jim Belushi, Anthony Quinn, with a brief cameo from Macaulay Culkin.

RATING: 5 out of 10 bodybags

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