Saturday, August 21, 2010


We follow Tim Curry over to Oscar, a 1991 comedy in which he plays an elocution expert hired to help mobster Sylvester Stallone fit into polite society when he maes a promise to his dying father to go straight. But the mob keeps pulling him back in. The film is a remake of a French film with the same title ad directed by the great comedic director, John Landis.

You would hope with such factors going for it, Oscar would work, but it really does not. The failure of the film rests squarely on the shoulders of Stallone. He is an action star who can do drama effectively, but he not a comedian. Oscar is a screwball comedy along the lines of the Marx brothers in the ‘30‘s and ‘40‘s. That sort of thing is a fine fit for Curry, who is about the only truly funny thing in the film, and surprisingly, Marissa Tomei, who plays Stallone’s rebellious daughter.

I suppose the plan was for the absurdity of Stallone being cast so far out of type was supposed to be amusing, but it is more painful instead.

The plot is complicated by the existence of three identical black suitcases that continually get mixed up with each other. Each contains a different item-- jewels, Tomei’s underwear, and $50,000--that confuse everyone’s intentions when they get mixed up. In the resolution, only the suitcase with the underwear is at the house when the cops arrive, so no one gets in trouble. That qualifies as a happy ending.

Critic savaged Oscar and I do not blame them. The only reason I would sit through it again is if someone threatened me with Stop or My Mom Will Shoot! instead. Considering Analyyze This, Roert De Niro miht have pulled off the main character and made Oscar funny, but Stallone needs to stay as far away from comedy as possible.

Watch it for Curry if you dare. Try a couple YouTube searches solely for his performance instead. You will be happier.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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