So I Married an Axe Murderer
Review by Diana, MaceVindaloo
Screenplay: Robbie Fox
Starring: Mike Meyers, Nancy Travis, Anthony Paglia, Alan Arkin, Phil Hartman, Amanda Plummer
Rating: Victory Star Destroyer packs a wallop
This is a supremely underrated movie. It's great, just about everyone who sees it says so. As Charlie McKenzie claimed about his new girlfriend Harriet, "I am in deep smit!" It's a fantastic romantic comedy and date flick, and so much more!
We have no idea why it was overlooked. It's a romantic comedy, sharply written, well structured, and is the first Mike Meyers film where he plays more than one character: himself and his father. Though as the commitment-phobic Charlie, Meyers seems to be playing himself, we suspect playing father Stuart was more satisfying, based as he is on Meyer's own father. For those who have watched other Meyers comedies, you can see the development of gags and jokes he will use in other movies. The all-Scottish / all the time thing is done very well here.
We also have no idea why Alan Arkin was uncredited on this film, either. He plays Anthony Paglia's detective force police captain who is a parody of his normally hard-boiled character self. We don't know why Sharon Stone was originally slated to play Harriet Michaels ... that would have been so odd. Nancy Travis is perfect as the butcher who turns out to be the phobic Charlie's ideal woman ... ideal maybe because of her curious hidden past.
The wedding features a Scottish piper, playing Rod Stewart's "Do You Think I'm Sexy"; an evening at Mom and Dad's entailed dusting off "the Scottish Wall of Fame" and doing the highland fling to the Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night." Sounds doofy, but it was very funny, and those of us old enough to remember those songs (along with the La's "There She Goes," which they use as the movie's themesong) were filled with nostalgia and we all started to look for MP3 files. (We also loved Stuart McKenzie's "The Pentarch" who control the world, especially "Colonel Sanders before he went tits-up! Argh, I hate the Colonel!"
Phil Hartman as Alcatraz guard "Vicky" is a classic study in deadpan comedic delivery. Actually, this movie is also a bit of a love-letter to the scenery of San Francisco, showing all the prominent landmarks and scenery day and night beautifully. Even a scene when the lovers are scratching each other's backs, Charlie asks her to go to "Oakland," and "Presidio," and of course, "Coit Tower" and "the San Andreas fault!"
Local places, like the Fog City Diner, and local weather and streets make you think this place really is cool, complete with beat poets and places they can recite their off the wall stuff. And a butcher shop which did exist for a while, but for the movie was renamed "Meats of the World," another gag idea Myers used later in a cut scene in Austin Powers. I want to move to San Francisco!
The big mystery was carefully built in layers, and all the dumb, funny stuff built up to the inevitable, surprisingly tense ending. It was a romantic comedy, but also a minor thriller, even if you laughed through Anthony Paglia's attempts at being Serpico and the faces Charlie makes when face-to-face with the murderous woman bent on killing him. Red herrings were laid out artfully and the story's ending was satisfying.
It's probably the best of Mike Meyer's movies, though later ones did better at the box office or in DVD sales. This movie is available on DVD, but be warned that there are no real "features" loaded on, and it's still kind of pricy. See if you can rent it or maybe buy it used, or maybe if you're lucky it'll be on sale somewhere.
Or don't be such a cheapskate. Buy it for your sweetie and enjoy a decent date movie! (You can always go for hotdogs later, as depicted in the movie ... you'll come out ahead, instead of going to a pricy restaurant. Och, you don't have to be Scottish to be canny, eh???)
Images from www.norcalmovies.com
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