A National Lampoon anthology of three shorts spoofing everything from personal growth films, glossy soap operas, and police stories. In the first story "Growing Yourself", stars Peter Riegert as a confused family man who throws his wife out of the house in order for him to "grow" a new path in life and raise his four children on his own. In "Success Wanters", Ann Dusenberry stars as Dominique Corsaire, a young college graduate determined to succeed in life in which in a few days time lands a job as a stripper, then the mistress to a margarine company, inherits it when the owner croaks, and is then romanced by a Greek shipping tycoon, and ultimately the US president. In "Municipalians", Robby Benson stars alongside Richard Widmark as a naive rookie Los Angeles policeman paired with a cynical veteran of the force to catch an inept serial killer (Christopher Lloyd). Written by
A fourth segment was made for the film by Henry Jaglom, a disaster movie parody called "The Bomb" starring Kenneth Mars, Allen Garfield and Marcia Strassman. Images from the segment appeared in press materials, but it was deleted from the finished film. See more »
National Lampoon was once a funny magazine. Whether you liked the stoner hippie days of the late sixties or the smug and sassy coke-head days of the seventies (when the comedy was fortified with plenty of naked babes) depends very much on your date of birth, but everyone agrees that by the early eighties, middle age had killed off whichever remaining sparks of anarchic humour that the drugs hadn't, and offerings like this film and the increasingly terrible spin-off records shot further holes in the hull. Outside of a nicely illustrated title sequence, there's absolutely nothing to recommend this singularly depressing stinkbug. If you make it through the baffling opening segment, 'Growing Myself', hoping things will get better, tough luck - they don't. Whoever thought the idea of a woman being brutally raped with a stick of butter was comedy gold deserved to have his head handed back to him on a platter of dog mess. If there's ever a global shortage of guitar picks, the negatives of this rambling, incoherent ragbag of crummy ideas and dire performances may well serve some purpose.
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