After sitting on a shelf at Warner Brothers for over a year, Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch, the much anticipated sequel to Eric Idle and Gerard Corvin's 1978 mockumentary, is finally on release, revealing the final exploits of The Rutles as they do a reunion tour of America. Documentor, Dirk McQuickly, interviews many artists and personalities who were inspired by the legendary band, from David Bowie to Tom Hanks. Written by
With due respect to Mr Idle and Mr Innes, and hoping to avoid being the center of the fiery ire of the legion of Rutles fans worldwide, The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch is the Magical Mystery Tour of the pre-fab fours' illustrious career. The charm of the original film was Neil's semi-original music: Not quite plagiarism, not quite satire, but a delicious hybrid of Lennon-McCartney-Innes that had me both yearning for the real "boys" to "Get Back" (All You Need Is Cash was first shown in 1978, and it was still a dream, a wish and a possibility in those days) and in enjoying several of the songs (forgive me) just as much as some of the original Beatles stuff.
What made AYNIC so charming and worthy of multiple listens and rewatches was the original music, and the plot that so closely follows the career and lives of our real heroes. It's weakness was Eric as Dirk/Paul, IMO and the weak interview scenes of the imaginary people affected by our heroes lives. (I'm not talking about Simon and Jagger, but the New Orleans scenes.) The other three were real musicians and the music we're hearing is really theirs; Eric didn't even come close to looking like a musician (and he admits it himself.) What you have in Can't Buy Me Lunch is the opposite of AYNIC: Not enough original music, not enough about the career and lives of our pre-fab (or fab) heroes, and too much Eric Idle. Too much focuses on the life of the "guy who interviewed the pre-fab four" and it's just not funny or interesting enough to carry the load.
If you run across the DVD go ahead and buy it and give it a watch, it's okay. But just like MMT fell way short of short of Help or Hard Day's Night, I think you'll find "Lunch" a bit of a disappointment. You might enjoy it better if you have a cup of tea before watching though! (Both are available on DVD.)
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