Eternal bachelor Lupo plays the comical presenter to the musical acts in his own Italian restaurant 'Serenade Café' in New York, but operatic singer Gina is not amused, she throws him out of her dressing room- the more she insults him, the crazier the old fool gets about her. To keep him off she insists her husband must be an opera singer, so he is easily duped by Ierra, who hits on with Gina himself and ships Lupo off to his Italian cahoot, musical teacher Marcello, for lessons- actually he is so bad that even the dog runs off, and after they bribe the local opera to give him a tiny part, the sound-tortured audience chases him for his life. He passes out but is found and taken in by a winegrowers family, which gives him confidence and a killer voice... Written by
The opera song the mediocre female singer sings who ends up dating "Lupo" (Dangerfield) to further her career (since he owns a famous restaurant), is the same tune written for Citizen Kane (1941) in which the main character, buys his "trophy" girl an opera house. See more »
When the bartender is talking to the server about how much Rodney is in love, his white shirt collar tucks itself under his black vest between shots. See more »
Don't shoot! Don't shoot! I won't sing anymore, I promise!
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More sad than funny, but the movie still ain't bad
Being a huge Rodney Dangerfield fan, it was more of a sad than funny experience watching this film. It's not for the simple reason that I know that Rodney is no longer with us, but the fact that he looks extremely sick throughout this movie. His face is pale, his eyes are really puffy. There are quite a few scenes in the film where it's evident that Rodney would've rather been lying in bed than performing. So right off the bat, don't expect that same relentless energy you saw in "Back to School" or "Easy Money." There are even scenes where he screws up the timing of his one-liners. It had nothing to do with incompetence (Hell, Rodney's the GREATEST comedian of all time, in my opinion), but because sickness and old age had gotten to him. Now let's go on to what I did like about "The 4th Tenor." It may not work perfectly as a comedy, but it makes a touching and light-hearted romance. I really did feel for Rodney's character, as the woman who captured his heart would continually blow him off. And I also felt his new-found love for the Italian woman, who would treat him with nothing but love and respect, but is forced to marry the man her father wants her to marry. The movie even has a climax, involving Rodney rushing to the wedding. Normally, I hate when I see that cliché in romantic comedies, but since I was taken by the story, I was able to forgive the cliché. This is in no way a memorable film, and the gags come in an intermittent fashion. I don't think director/comedian Harry Basil was talented enough to find the right balance to make this film work as a comedy. The comedy arrives in a too-little-too-late fashion, amidst handfuls of sentimental moments. If you're in the mood to laugh, I'd better suggest any of Rodney's other films. Or you can simply pop in his great "No Respect" CD. But I enjoyed this film for what it was. It went straight-to-video, and has straight-to-video written all over it. The filmmakers didn't even put in a half-assed effort to make the sets appear like Italy. And the New York scenes were obviously filmed on backlots. Harry Basil's a comedian and not a director, and it shows in his amateurish style.
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