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Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
Harmless fun for Film Noir fans
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is, at best, good fun for a classic film buff. At worst, it lasts too long, and is it at times a little stupid. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid stars Steve Martin, with dyed dark hair, as a detective who lives by the word of Phillip Marlowe. He is approached by Rachel Ward as a young woman who wants him to solve her important scientist/cheesmaker father's murder. Along the way, Martin interacts with the likes of Ava Gardner, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Humphrey Bogart, Charles Laughton, Cary Grant, and much more. The effects are at times hilarious (Martin interacting with a hysterical Stanwyck) and viewers will have fun spotting references to other movies. However, this concept is difficult to sustain through out the whole film, and by the end the movie has somewhat lost it's way and is a little bit tiresome. The humor is at times pretty broad and less than intelligent. Still, I would recommend this movie to film buffs perhaps as a curiosity and an enjoyable homage.
This movie is cliché-o-rama.
I watched this movie with a cousin of mine. She is into this sort of thing - acting like your hip-hop, dancing, and clichéd teen drivel. But even she couldn't take it. Jessica Alba is totally miscast as Honey, a character that is some sort of Latino, but Alba is too white to play. Honey wants to be a dance choreographer, but encounters obstacles, such as a horn dog mentor who wants her to sleep with him, or she'll be blacklisted. Along the way, she tries to help Lil' Romeo's character, a young man on his way to a life of crime. Really. This movie is totally ridiculous. Lil' Romeo tries to pull off a grown up and tough persona but fails. Miserably. So does Alba, who, between this and Dark Angel, has lost the ability to act. People could say that this movie is good because of the dancing, but I see the choreography as contrived and over-sexual to make up for the fact that it lacks the same things this movie does: any sort of groove or flavor. This movie, while not the worst, could be a slight train wreck, right down to the cheesy and predictable ending. If you're a teenage girl who like hip-hop and teen movies, go ahead and watch this. If you're anything else, stay away.