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A group of scientist take Simon, a psychology professor, as a test person for a brainwash experiment. After that they try to convince him that he was a living-being from another planet. Written by
This is a very funny film written and directed by Marshall Brickman, who wrote Woody Allen's ANNIE HALL, MANHATTAN, and MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY, as well as numerous other films. He only directed four films, of which this is the first, and it shows the least directorial skill unfortunately. His second film LOVESICK (1983, see my review) was much more satisfactory as a film. SIMON should have been far more hilarious than it is, but Brickman was too inexperienced and did not plot the pace sufficiently to keep the action moving, so that it repeatedly sags with people talking for too long, and with too much space between the jokes. However, it is very good value if you are willing to go with the flow and not mind the minor faults. Austin Pendleton is the co-star, along with Alan Arkin, and Madeleine Kahn is one of the two female leads. Austin is my cousin, and I believe he and I met Maddy Kahn together for the first time at the Upstairs at the Downstairs when she was still doing live shows, long before she was ever in a movie. This film is a comic sci fi caper, where a think tank full of mad scientists interested in brainwashing techniques, which is run by Austin, choose Arkin for an experiment. They put him into an isolation tank for a very long period of sensory deprivation and persuade him that he is an alien. Much of the comedy then results from Arkin's behaviour once he comes to believe this. Wallace Shawn adds good support, as he always does. I won't spoil the ending by discussing what this all leads to, but 'a good time was had by all', as they say.
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