Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Overlooked Movies -- So Fine

Andrew Bergman has written some dandy private-eye novels, not to mention the script for The In-Laws (the original).  So how could you go wrong with So Fine, a movie he wrote and directed?  Answer: You can't.  Or I couldn't.

Ryan O'Neal is Bobby Fine, an English prof up for tenure.  His father, Jack Fine (Jack Warden) is an unsuccessful clothing maker, in deep debt to Big Eddie (Richard Kiel).  Through a complicated set of circumstances, Bobby is kidnapped and set up as head of the company.  He's also quickly involved with Kiel's beautiful wife, Lira (Mariangela Melato).  While fleeing Kiel's bedroom, Bobby accidentally invents So Fine jeans (see poster) and saves the company from financial ruin.

The movie's full of jokes, so many that you might miss one while laughing at another.  It has the greatest production of Verdi's Othello ever.  It has Richard Kiel lip-synching to "Walk Like a Man."  It has O'Neal giving a version of Henry V's St. Crispen Day's speech to the garment workers.  Maybe this movie's not as funny as I think it is.  You can let me know in the comments.


Deb said...

Bergman was also one of the screenwriters of "Blazing Saddles", so he's got that going for him, but this movie? I'm afraid that even a person who alternated Jordache, Sergio Valente, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Calvins during the designer jeans early 1980s heyday would not find much to laugh about here.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Highlights include the official-looking "No Parking Except for Mr. Eddie" sign, Jack Warden's whole performance (including his wistful comment "I used to f#*k like that"), but not (unfortunately) the miscast Ryan O'Neal. There were things (like the opening academic scene) that were good, but overall it was no IN-LAWS.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have no memory of this one at all.

Rick said...

One of my favorite comedies. I'm with you on this one, Bill.

(Rick Libott)

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Terrible movie. I don't think I was able to get all the way thru this.

Anonymous said...

I liked it. All the modern tributes to 30s screwball comedy come off a bit labored, but watching Richard Kiel saunter into a college bar while lip-synching to "Walk Like A Man" is just wonderful. There are some inspired bits, not quite 50-50 with the rest of the movie, but these days I'm happy to see a movie that at least has some high points.