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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dom DeLuise was rarely dull in anything he did. He had a way of getting
your attention, usually making you laugh and care about his character.
That's true here, too, even though he plays a fairly-unlikeable
"emotion:" guilt. Yeah, he's a supernatural employee whose job it is,
is to go around and place guilt in people's minds.
As he does so here, particularly early on, he sounds like Don Rickles with his insult jokes. Some were hilarious. One was another slam against Richard Nixon. What is it about these Hollywood Liberals and Nixon? They just can't stop dissing the guy. Get over it.
Anyway, after bungling an assignment because he got drunk and laid guilt on the wrong people (another funny scene), DeLuise is told to take a vacation cruise. On that cruise, he meets "Love," played by the lovely Loni Anderson...and she is more than a match for him. It's "All You Need Is Love," as the Beatles used to sing.
I enjoyed all the guest actors in here, almost all of them being familiar faces and good actors. It's not an outstanding episode, but it's good enough to keep your attention all the way and wonder what is "Guilt" going to do next.
I'm not sure how this was to capture our attention. Dom Deluise plays Guilt (apparently, God has a group of anthropomorphic characters that go to earth and dump their emotions on people). If Guilt wants to, he can stop anyone in their tracks. The immediately are overcome with the guilt he provides. Because he does a lousy job, he is forced by the big guy to go on vacation. He ends up on a cruise ship with Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinnati). They have a brief affair and then things get more complicated. The sad thing about this is that it is utterly dull. It's played for laughs certainly, but there were none that I could think of. Let it lie.
This episode of "Amazing Stories" was directed by Burt Reynolds.
Because of this, it's not at all surprising that Dom DeLuise, Loni
Anderson and Charles Nelson Reilly (Reynold's friends and wife at the
time) are in this one.
This episode is a comedy-romance, not at all like you'd expect from "Amazing Stories". There is no huge twist or strange "Twilight Zone" sort of aspect to the tale. Instead, it's a silly story about the personifications of emotions. One, Guilt (DeLuise) is having a bad run lately and his boss (Charles Durning) orders him to take a vacation. There he meets and falls in love with Love (Anderson) and the story is rather charming AND silly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The 'Assistant to the Boss' sends emotions from Heaven down to Earth
when they are needed there. They come in the form of human beings. The
emotion 'Guilt' is played by Dom DeLuise. He makes people feel guilty
who eat too much or who commit adultery etc. It seems that Guilt
himself can't feel guilty. He drinks too much on the job and makes some
mistakes, so the Assistant to the Boss orders him to go on holiday. His
'Guilt Trip' takes place on a cruise ship, where he falls in love with
the emotion 'Love' (played by Loni Anderson)...
There are some jokes that I liked in this episode, for example the one about President Reagan and the one about Guilt's stamina. But I think that some other episodes are a lot funnier, and I have to admit that I don't think I really understood the message of the story. The message seems to be that love and guilt belong together. Is that really so? Do the makers of this episode mean to say that love has to be so sinful that you feel guilty for the love to be real and good and exciting? Or do they mean to say that love cannot be innocent, that is do they mean to say that it's always connected with sin and guilt?
(Skip this paragraph if you aren't interested in sociology.) Coincidentally, I had read an interview with Clotaire Rapaille (in the German magazine Focus) the same day that I watched this episode. He is a French marketing guru who investigates cultural codes. Knowledge of these codes makes it easier to develop the right products for different markets. For example: Rapaille says he has found out that the (U.S.-) American code for cheese is 'dead', so it has to be hermetically sealed and has to be advertised accordingly; the French code for cheese is 'living', so they want to have fresh cheese without 'plastic body bags'. Rapaille says he likes the U.S. better than his home country, so he has moved there. But he also says something about Americans that sounds like criticism. He says that he did a study for L'Oréal. For this study, he interviewed Americans about their attitudes towards love. He says he has found out that the American code for seduction was 'manipulation', that the code for love was 'false (unrealistically high) expectations' that can't be fulfilled, and that the code for sex was 'violence'. (He doesn't speak about possible reasons for these codes. The Puritan heritage perhaps?) I don't know if Rapaille is right about all these cultural differences; I've never been to the U.S. In addition I think that he deliberately generalizes and exaggerates to make his statements sound more pregnant and impressive. But if there really are such cultural differences, that might explain my problems in understanding the message of this story.
In this "Amazing Stories" episode from season 1 titled "Guilt Trip" has Dom Deluise as a man named Guilt who is like a good guardian angel who on earth seeks out those in need as he gives help and advice. Only one day his boss advises that he take time for himself and get a vacation, and this happens to be on a ship cruise. It's there that Guilt meets a lovely and beautiful nice lady named oddly enough Love(the beautiful Loni Anderson) and you guessed it love is at first sight. This is one little sweet episode that proves love is possible for anyone and it's unexpected this was such a great fairy tale story! A real delight for viewers who are dreamers too!
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