|Index||5 reviews in total|
When a US movie has its first premiere overseas, as this one did, YOU
KNOW something's amiss with the movie and that the producers were
nervous about its US premiere. Not many US movies premiere first
overseas and then are shown in the US, as this one was. The IMDb
indicates that this movie was first shown in the UK, then premiered in
NYC the following December. The movie attempts-horribly, I might add,
to spoof those goofy, beloved depression era dance
movies--specifically, the ones with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
Yup, there are truly awful dance sequences in this film! (Astaire would
be turning in his grave!) Perhaps a better explanation would be that
this is an example of a potentially "good" movie idea, but which was
sunk by a bad script and horribly miscast. I can just see the producer
pitching this idea: "Hey, why I've got this idea to parody the old
dance movies using a card-board cut out of a Roaring Twenties
flapper...I want Twiggy and Tommy Smothers for the principal roles..."
Smothers, who once upon a time was on the cutting edge of comedy, doesn't stand up well against his various co-stars. Playing a funny character in a movie is not the same as hosting a variety TV show. But that is not to completely blame the Tommy Smothers for this collosal dud: the script is vapid and lame. This movie appears to have employed a veritable "who's who" of once great '50-'60s out of work character actors, like Broderick Crawford, Jim Backus, and Maude's funny maid, Hermoine Baddeley (who, btw winds up stealing the movie with her funny expressions).
This movie, doubled billed on a 99 cent DVD, was renamed "There Goes the Neighborhood".
This is the only DVD I've ever purchased from the 99 cent bin at a store
still felt I'd overpaid.
"There Goes the Bride" plays out like a protracted episode of "Bewitched" or "I Dream of Genie": one semi-supernatural episode is milked for every conceivable misunderstanding and limp comedy gag for as long as is humanly endurable.
Tom Smothers plays a harried ad executive (is there any other kind?) who, on the day of his daughter's wedding, meets the woman of his dreams in the person of fictional brassiere pitchwoman, Polly (Twiggy in full 1930's flapper drag, looking every bit as youthful as she did 9 years earlier in "The Boy Friend," the 30's musical in which she was ALSO named Polly).
What comedy there is comes from the inability of anyone but Smothers to see the amorous Twiggy, and all manner of formulaic 'hilarity' ensues.
"There Goes the Bride" is not the worst film I've ever seen, but it must certainly be the ugliest. The camera set ups look amateurish, the cutting is sluggish for what should be a quick, farcical comedy, and the whole thing looks like a demo film for the real film to be shot later with a bigger budget.
On the plus side is the always enchanting Twiggy who has the sort of light comic touch a film like this needs. Too bad she's underused and has about a page of dialog throughout the whole film. She and Smothers (who tries hard but needs a better director)perform several musical numbers that actually are rather charming given Smothers' lead-footed earnestness.
Can't say I'd recommend this film to anyone but Twiggy fans (there have to be more out there beyond myself).
There Goes the Bride is a very witless fantasy-comedy that is even more disappointing when you consider the cast: Tom Smothers, Twiggy, Martin Balsam, Broderick Crawford, Hermione Baddeley, Jim Backus, Phil Silvers, and Graham Stark. All have had better roles in better pictures or TV shows. None can save the very lame material here. I do have to admit to some charm concerning some dance moves by Smothers and Twiggy when they reenact Astaire and Rogers in their prime. Those scenes make the picture somewhat tolerable. There was even some amusement at the way it all ended. Otherwise, this movie is not even worth the $1.00 I paid for this DVD which was double billed with the mediocre It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time which featured a young John Candy. Avoid at all costs unless you're really curious.
With a wonderful all-star cast and great plotline can't go wrong, but it did. I guess as a Broadway play this film would've run better, but as a film it runs really flat. Not even the wit of Tom Smothers can't save this picture from going down hill. Cameo of Phil Silvers, Broadrick Crawford (in a nothing role), and Jim Backus doesn't help either, also third bill Martin Balsam (who starred with Tom in SILVER BEARS the same year) has less scenes than Backus. Shot in Florida and U.k. (which explains why Graham Stark is in the film as an Italian(?)). Not recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Is she a ghost? A figment of his imagination? Its up to the viewer to
decide in one of many supernatural comedies to come out on the wake of
"Heaven Can Wait". Twiggy isn't the bride, but perhaps the spirit of
the character that she played in "The Boyfriend". Unlike her character
of Polly and that musical based on the hit British musical, her
character of Polly here is a pranksterish spirit, appearing to the
father of the bride Tom smothers on the day of his daughter's wedding,
not letting him out of her sight, and causing all sorts of havoc for
him and his family.
There are a lot of guest stars, many of whom are simply window dressing for a rather mediocre comedy that is amusing, but not quite as charming as other similar films of the same genre. Smother's former in-laws are an obnoxious group, his ex wife a total shrew, and mother-in-law Hermione Baddely a carbon copy of the old school nasty mother-in-law. Then, there is his whining daughter, perplexed by her parents bickering and her father's seemingly insane notion that some beautiful woman is chasing him and happens to be one that nobody but him can see.
"Heaven Can Wait", a remake of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan", had been a smash hit several years before this had an obviously minimal release. That film had an excellent screenplay and extremely funny performances, but this film is only moderately amusing on spots. Among the guest stars that pop in and out are Phil Silvers, seemingly having no purpose there other than to add name value, Jim Backus, playing a lecherous businessman feeding line to his sexy younger secretary. When he offers her more champagne, you half expect her to respond delicious!, like his real wife Henny had in a famous comedy sketch with her husband years before. Martin Balsam plays an obnoxious relative who keeps on getting into fights with innocent passers-by, and at times I wanted to see his character totally thrown off the screen. One very funny moment has the grandfather of the bride arriving at the wrong church, and presenting the apparent other grandparents with flowers, unaware that this Spanish couple are obviously not his granddaughters other grandparents.
Getting a bit convoluted and testy in spots, it is easy to see why this was probably shelved, and only had a few bookings. Other similar films that did better than this include "Kiss Him Goodbye, a 1982 comedy with a dead husband coming back to harass his newly remarried wife, the hysterical "All of Me" with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin apparently sharing the same body, and the sweet "Chances Are" where Cybil Shepherd's ex husband comes back in the form of the man played by Robert Downey who is about to marry her own daughter. Twiggy's character reminded me a great deal of the character that Glenn Close played in the comedy "Maxie" where an innocent church secretary is possessed by the spirit of a long dead flapper. This film has to thrive on the chemistry of its two stars, both names in the late 1960s, but barely remembered by most people when it came out.there are a few moments when they do play delightfully off of each other, but the circumstances surrounding them seem so absurd and the choreography of Struthers by himself being pulled away by the invisible Twiggy, just you not seeing as well acted as when Steve Martin get it with Lily Tomlin manipulating his every move in "All of Me".
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