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Donal Lardner Ward
Donal Lardner Ward,
Because of his salacious language, late-night radio advice-show host Leon Phelps, along with his sweet and loyal producer Julie, is fired from his Chicago gig. They can't find another job. About that time, two things happen: he gets a letter from a wealthy former lover who offers to take care of him (but she doesn't sign her real name, so Leon, an inveterate Casanova, has no idea who she is), and a group of angry cuckolds, all of whom have surprised their wives in flagrante delicto with Leon (who has a distinctive tattoo on his booty), are closing in, armed and dangerous. Can he find the sugar mommy and escape the wrath of the mob of husbands? What about Julie? Written by
Ahh... yet another instant classic from the people over at Saturday Night Live.
Sometimes they get lucky and have a hit on their hands (Wayne's World, the first one, not the second). But most often they have duds (It's Pat comes to mind rather quickly). This time out it's Tim Meadows as The Ladies Man. This movie falls somewhere in between a hit and a dud. It was very funny for the first 20 minutes, but then, as usually happens with SNL skits, it starts to slow down, before finally ending, long after it should have.
Tim Meadows is Leon Phelps, a radio DJ with a nightly show called The Ladies Man. He answers any and all questions dealing with sex and relationships, usually in the crudest way possible. Everything seems to ultimately come down to the butt. After pushing the buttons of the station manager, Leon, along with his producer Julie (Karyn Parsons) gets fired, and needs to find another job. Out of the random blue, comes a letter from one of his ex-ladies. The letter offers him wealth and luxury for the rest of his life, the only problem being that the letter isn't signed. So Leon needs to track down all the women he's been with to find the woman of his dreams. But sometimes, as Billy Dee Williams says in the film, the woman of your dreams is standing right in front of you. There is also a sub-plot about a bunch of guys who's wives/girlfriends have all slept with Leon, and they want to first figure out who he is (by a tattoo he has on a part of his anatomy), then kill him. Leading this bunch of guys is, surprise! Will Ferrell from SNL. First off, I thought the sub-plot was rather lame. The singing and dancing stuff was just completely worthless. I usually like Will Ferrell but here he just never clicked for me. And the rest of the guys were just schlubs who tagged along, and in the end all decided that having their wives/girlfriends cheat on them was in fact their fault. So back to the main story. The story basically centers around Leon and sex. So what it comes down to is, if you don't like the character of Leon, you won't like the movie. His voice, his mannerisms, his dialogue is what carries the movie. I am not a big fan of Tim Meadows. I never thought he was a particularly good actor on SNL. The only thing I ever really liked of his, was his Ladies Man skits. But the best thing about those, is that they usually involved the guest host (remember the one with Cameron Diaz?), and they were short. For about 5 minutes, they were pretty funny. And here, for about 20 minutes, it's really funny. What I thought was good about the character in the movie, is that he stayed in character throughout. He never wavered from his wanted to just get laid persona. Until right at the end where there was this transformation, and the ever present speech to tie things up. Other than that, it was pretty good at keeping Leon as Leon, and not changing him into something less crude than he was. There isn't a lot of substance to this movie, if you couldn't guess. But like I said earlier, the beginning of the movie I found to be very funny. Some real laugh out loud moments, all revolving around sex and his crudeness. The problem of course with this movie, and most other SNL spin offs, is that these are characters that are only supposed to be shown for a few minutes at a time. Stretching the concept into 80 minutes is very difficult. That difficulty is obviously why they needed the sub-plot, because without it, this movie would have been a little under an hour. When it was good, it was good, but when it wasn't good, it got to be boring.
So overall, The Ladies Man wasn't as bad as other SNL films, but it wasn't as good as others. It had some funny moments, the first 20 minutes was pretty good, but the rest of it dragged on. There was an unnecessary sub-plot whose only purpose was to lengthen the film. The bottom line is, if you like Tim Meadows and his Leon Phelps character, you'll be able to watch the film. If he annoys you, don't even bother going. Unless you just want to see Tiffani Theissen in some nice revealing clothing.
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