A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

reviewed by
Pedro Sena

COUNTRY:                    ENGLAND 1990
MUSIC:                         JOHN DUPREZ
CAST:                           Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese, Kevin Kline,
Michael Palin
WRITTEN BY:                Charles Crighton and John Cleese.
SUPER FEATURES:      Better than the Python gags.  Funny moments.

If John Cleese is not a very good actor, at least he is a very good writer. And together with the director, they came up with a very cute script, that runs along very well, and is perfect for Cleese, who does not have to overplay his part, and neither does he have to play the type he is so well used to in FAWLTY TOWERS, and the famous MONTY PYTHON skits. This is a well scripted and thought out story, which has confined the advantages of each actor into a nice little film. While far from great, it still is nice to sit through, and does have some funny moments, almost all of them centered on John Cleese, who seems to be specially suited to playing eccentric characters, the most difficult style of comedic roles.

The story is a bit on the weird side... two thieves, Jamie Lee Curtis (she looks great) and Kevin Kline are attempting to get to some more valuables and they will get involved with just about anyone to get it done. She ends up getting interested in John Cleese for the wrong reasons, and has to play the role of a lover, much to the chagrin of her real lover (Kline). In between, John Cleese gets his marriage turned upside down (it wasn't worth it anyway !!), and becomes interested in the woman thief, whom he does not suspect of any foul behavior.

A bit of a mess, but a perfect situation to set up gags for John Cleese to get caught in, and display his incredible ability to hold it under the most unusual circumstances. I think he suffers from the Peter Sellers complex that he must not crack up, no matter how difficult, and weird, the situation can be. He holds his own.

The movie is fun, and has its moments.
Copyright (c) Pedro Sena 1994

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