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A Fine Mess
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Reviews & Ratings for
A Fine Mess More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A big guilty pleasure

Author: jhaggardjr from Chicago, Illinois
9 August 2000

"A Fine Mess" is a sloppy comedy from Blake Edwards, director of "Micki + Maude", "Victor/Victoria", "10", and the "Pink Panther" films. I first saw "A Fine Mess" at the theater with my best friend when it first came out. I was only 15 years old at the time, and we laughed our heads off. You would think that today I would find this film to be incredibly stupid. Well, I just watched it again recently, and I still laughed at this movie. That makes "A Fine Mess" a huge guilty pleasure of mine. It's about Ted Danson and Howie Mandel getting mixed up in a fixed horse race, and spend parts of the movie running from two clumsy gangsters (Richard Mulligan and Stuart Margolin) who are responsible for creating this fixed horse race on orders from their mob boss (Paul Sorvino). In the midst of this fine mess they fall in love with beauties Maria Conchita Alonso and Jennifer Edwards (Blake's daughter). This movie was no doubt an embarrassment to Edwards, Danson, Mandel, Sorvino, and especially Mulligan and Margolin. They all make total fools of themselves. But I laughed anyway. It's notable for an appearence by a pre-"NYPD Blue" Dennis Franz and a bit part by a pre-"Babe" James Cromwell. But one thing I'll always remember about "A Fine Mess" is film critic Rex Reed's thrashing of the movie on the movie review show "At the Movies" when he and co-host Bill Harris (taking over for Siskel and Ebert) were reviewing their choices for the worst movies of 1986. Reed started saying quote "Well at least part of the title is accurate. "A Fine Mess". Well it's worse than a mess. It was an all out disaster, and there's nothing fine about it." It was quite obvious that Reed gave "A Fine Mess" no stars. But I give it three stars. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it. This movie does make me laugh. If you decide to watch this, remember to check your brain at the door.

*** (out of four)

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A fine....little distraction

Author: mcfly-31 from anaheim, ca
3 August 2005

A definite "check your brain at the door" comedy, one of the most plot less films ever, but manages some good characters and situations. Danson, pigeon-holed as his "Cheers" character Sam Malone, plays another womanizer here, this time an actor. While shooting a film at a racetrack, he overhears the doping of a philly, and though seen, decides to bet the horse the next day. Two movie-type hit men dingbats spend the next twenty minutes chasing him by foot and car all over the place. Along for the ride is Danson's buddy Mandel, who gets swept up in the madness. There's also an auctioneer, a Mob wife, her grumbling husband, two cops on the trail, and a disgruntled brother in law. Edwards attempt at an all-out comedy comes off here and there, but the film has no real direction. A bunch of gags are clustered along the business of Danson and Mandel avoiding a bullet from the two hitguys. But for whatever reason, I let it slide and just enjoyed what was given. Danson at about 40 and Mandel in his 20s, though never explained how they know each other, had a great chemistry. Seemed like they had been buddies a while, and clicked on-screen. Throw in some Mandel bits like voices or eating soap, and you can't help but laugh. Especially his moment in an Indian restaurant where he disregards the diners and lets loose after eating....something. Danson milks being slapped in the face and chasing women, and an odd boon to the film is the up-beat soundtrack. From the Temptations to Mr. Mister, it came off energetic. In fact, I don't recall any scenes of score used in the film. It all culminates in a chaotic finish involving a piano and another chase, so it may be worth a shot if you're into stretching your funnybone.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Mess, Yes....But Fine As Well!

Author: Alexandra Slate ( from Virginia, U.S.
21 October 2002

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at the number of viewers whose comments generally trashed this picture, but I must admit that I'm astonished at the snobbery of some people when it comes to comedy.

Not every movie has to have an intricate plot, Oscar caliber performances, and a perfect script to be a noteworthy movie. We have movies like Citizen Kane, The Killing Fields, A Dry White Season, Rain Man ect... for that. The most important aspect of a comedy is whether or not it is genuinely funny, and there's no way one can say that this flick is not.

Just about every scene in the film is funny, physical as well as dialogue. Howie Mandel cracked me up constantly with the strange voices he used. It's vulgar in parts, and sure, the plot is weak. So what. It does it's job. Blake Edwards is a master at comedy. He never leaves me disappointed.

If you're looking for a movie that will leave you with a sore ribcage at the end, this one will do the trick. As comedies go, I'd give it an 8/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Maria Conchita Alonso and superficial fun

Author: mariafan from Tampa, FL
26 October 2002

I'll be the first to admit that this is far from Danson's or Sorvino's best work. However, they aren't who keeps drawing me back to this film. This was the film where I discovered the sexy, beautiful Maria Conchita Alonso. I have liked her ever since. Her performance saves the film for me. She is perfect as Claudia Pazzo.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I thought this was actually a fine comedy.

Author: Aaron1375
17 December 2010

This just shows how out of touch I am when it comes to comedies. The score for this film is only four, but I actually really enjoyed it. I thought the film was funny through the whole film for the most part and I enjoyed Howie Mandel and Ted Danson's performances in this one. Granted there were a few jokes that really did not work such as the auction where they accidentally bid on the piano, but jokes that did not work all that well were few and far between for me. The film is kind of all over the place, but it centers a bit on a horse racing doping scheme that a man overhears. He is chased and ends up placing bets on said horse. He and his friend then end up buying a piano for a large sum by accident and then proceed to sell it to a person of dubious character. The buddies are played well by two guys who were more known for television at the time in Mandel and Danson. Danson is basically just doing a variation of Sam Malone from "Cheers" in this one, but it works and I thought he was very funny. Richard Mulligan also is in this one, and once again someone who would be known for a television role. The ending was good too. Well good for me, I liked this one, but from the score here I would guess that not many share my opinion of this one. So while I enjoyed it and think it was humorous I would read the other reviews of those who did not like it all that much to get the whole picture.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Originally Intended for Burt Reynolds and Richard Pryor

Author: socchiato from United States
19 December 2005

When Blake Edwards initially was putting this film together it was originally intended to star Burt Reynolds and Richard Pryor. Unfortunately due to Pryor's near fatal burning the film had to be recast. The Films original Title was 'The Music Box' taken from the Laurel & Hardy short film of the same title. Was made as a homage to classic comedies . Did not fair well at the box office. ************************************************************ ************************************************************ ************************************************************ ************************************************************

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A great movie.

Author: anonymous from London Canada
12 December 1998

I really enjoyed this movie. It didn't have much in the way of writing, but it was funny, entertaining, and made me feel like I spent my time well. All in all a great little flick to watch when you want to relax and enjoy yourself.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"It's a fine mess..."

Author: znowhite01 from San Ho
14 February 2002

My heart sinks when I see a 3.8 User Rating for this hilarious comedy. You got Danson and Mandel in their prime and Edwards behind the camera. OK, it should have been better, but there's still some of Blake's trademark slapstick we all know and love from classics like A Shot in the Dark and The Party. Richard Mulligan is a standout as a dopey hood who places his shotgun in front of his crotch before firing. The plot, if you want to call it that, has more holes than a swiss cheese convention but I was laughing so hard I didn't care.

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"Good, Underrated 80's Comedy!"

Author: gwnightscream from United States
25 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ted Danson, Howie Mandel, Richard Mulligan, Stuart Margolin, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jennifer Edwards and Paul Sorvino star in Blake Edwards' 1986 comedy. Danson (Cheers) plays Spence Holden, an actor & womanizer who discovers a horse-doping plot to fix a race. He decides to capitalize with help from his friend, Dennis Powell (Mandel) and they become chased by thugs, Binky (Margolin) & Turnip (Mulligan) who work for mob boss, Tony Pazzo (Sorvino). Alonso (The Running Man) plays Tony's wife, Claudia who finds romance with Spence and Edwards (Blake's daughter) plays Ellen Frankenthaler, an auction secretary who finds romance with Dennis. Dennis Franz (NYPD Blue) appears as Spence's brother-in-law, Phil, Rick Ducommun (The 'Burbs) also appears as Ordell, Dennis' uptight boss and he & Mandel were also in "Little Monsters" 3 years after this. I watched this growing up and always enjoyed it. I think it's underrated and Danson & Mandel are great together. I recommend this good 80's comedy.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Credit where credit is due.

Author: jlm2002 from Canada
18 September 2005

I just saw this movie tonight, actually the last twenty minutes, and according to IMDb, it says that Dennis Franz is non credited, but as the credits rolled, he was in them...

It was an OK movie, and I enjoyed what I did see, and looking at the actors before they were household names was funny too.

It is a good movie for those of you who wish to just sit back and laugh at good old slapstick, and mindless entertainment.

Ted Danson is always hilarious, and found it quite funny seeing him make himself comfortable behind the bar in the mansion. His character was hilarious as the skirt chasing fool, just as his future character, Sam Malone would be in Cheers!

Cheers to all the actors who have gone on to make better and bigger movies, and shows!

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