Politics are already strained between English imperialists and the West African government of Kinjanja, when womanizing British diplomat Morgan Leafy (Colin Friels) is caught in bed with ...
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Politics are already strained between English imperialists and the West African government of Kinjanja, when womanizing British diplomat Morgan Leafy (Colin Friels) is caught in bed with Celia (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer), wife of corrupt Kinjanjan presidential candidate Sam Adekunle (Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr.). As punishment, Leafy is forced into bribing an official who has voted down a project that stands to make Adekunle very rich. Leafy thinks he's gotten off easy until he learns the lone holdout is none other than Kinjanja's own brick wall of integrity, Dr. Alex Murray (Connery). Meanwhile, Leafy must also contend with his absurdly stuffy boss Fanshawe (John Lithgow), Fanshawe's lusty wife (Diana Rigg) and their luscious, too friendly daughter! Written by
I have never read a William Boyd book but after having seen this movie, I have a mind to look out for them. A Good Man in Africa felt pretty much how I imagined a Tom Sharpe novel would appear on screen, farcical, riotous, uproarious and hilarious. Except there was something important missing in the film. There were a some very good scenes which showed up the farce to excellent effect. The unfortunate intervention of a tropical disease into the evening's entertainment, the unequal game of golf, the fitting for the Santa outfit, the corpse removal, the shower scene, the flight from disgruntled locals are just some examples of the farce. Friels' diplomat is at the heart of each embarrassment and he is charming in a very understated way, but he seems as bemused by his role as he is by events that unfurl around him.
Friels' supporting cast is also pretty mixed, John Lithgow, Diana Rigg and Sean Connery are amongst the best and they seem to have more fun than Friels does in his role and this is not just because Friels is hard done by as the 'put-upon' embassy attache. The belly laughs expected of a good farce do not materialise although there is plenty to chuckle about and think on. However, for the chuckles alone the film is well worth seeing, now let us see how the book compares.
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