The uneventful life of the businessman Charles Driggs suddenly changes when he meets the wild and sexy Lulu. When he accepts her offer to drive him back to his office, she instead takes him out of town and on a trip, leaving behind his old life. Posing as a married couple, Charles and "Audrey" (which turns out to be Lulu's real name) visit her mother and her high school reunion. At this reunion they meet Audrey's violent ex-husband Ray, who has just released from prison. When Ray makes it clear that he wants Audrey back, that is when the real trouble begins.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Some scenes in this movie were filmed in Tallahassee, Florida. Perhaps as an acknowledgment of this, one scene features a large satellite dish which bears the Seminole head symbol of The Florida State University, which is located in Tallahassee. See more »
Lulu's drink of choice is Seagram's 7, an American blended whiskey. When she enters the package store, she specifically asks for 4 pints of Scotch, and the clerk retrieves the Seagram's from the shelf. See more »
You were right. I'm a rebel. I am! I just channelled my rebellion into the mainstream.
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Unique, enjoyable black comedy from Johnathan Demme
It's easy to take actors like Ray Liotta and Jeff Daniels for granted with the benefit of hindsight. Both of them have had ups and (horrible) downs, crossing genres seamlessly or inexplicably. It can also be argued that neither one of them has been more gratifying, more liberated, more, well, wild than in their breakthrough roles in Johnathan Demme's road movie. With the help of Melanie Griffith's femme fatale they make a very interesting movie about finding your wild side, but also finding out about the nasty underbelly lurking beneath society's pickett fences.
After being accused of ripping off a diner, a yuppie accountant named Charles sets off on a wild road trip with the free-spirited Lulu. Along the way she manages to bring out something special in Charlie, accusing him of being a closet rebel. They decide to get themselves in various troublesome situations, like running out on roof-splittingly expensive restaurants. They soon run into trouble, however, when a former love of Lulu's (or Audrey's), Ray, turns up at her high school reunion, after what appears to be done time in a jail.
Demme's film switches from screwball situation comedy to black farce and then to an uncomfortable menace. At times we're not really sure what this woman wants with Charles, whether she is after money, scheming, or indeed really has fallen for our floppy-haired protagonist. Daniels injects his hapless hero with all the dopey charm and middle-class wit one could ever hope to see in an 80s suit-wearing yuppie. He wants to eschew his suburban divorce style for a rebellious wild-at-heart rebel, and insists upon doing it with the impulsive, slightly reckless, but utterly alluring Lulu. The problem is, when he discovers his wild side, he has to deal with the ensuing problems: He's just been made Vice-President at his firm - What would his work mates think? How does he deal with the psychotic ex-con boyfriend? Does he really know what this woman wants? He appears, for most of the movie, to be a sap, who could fall for more than he could handle. But coincidentally, he's a pretty good liar, so maybe he's no better than the rest of them.
But even if the underlying philosophy doesn't hit you, then the comedic set-pieces definitely should. One particular scene involving handcuffs, suspenders, a dinky motel and a a phone call to his work office particularly sticks in the mind. It's not often you get movies like this. Movies that share a good balance between intelligence and farce. How can you go wrong?
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