6.2/10
4,128
48 user 13 critic

The Tall Guy (1989)

Dexter King plays straight man to unpleasant comedian Ron Anderson. He falls in love with Kate, a pretty nurse he meets when he is receiving injections for hay fever. When Anderson fires ... See full summary »

Director:

Mel Smith

Writer:

Richard Curtis
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On Disc

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Goldblum ... Dexter King
Emma Thompson ... Kate
Rowan Atkinson ... Ron Anderson
Geraldine James ... Carmen
Emil Wolk Emil Wolk ... Charlie
Kim Thomson ... Cheryl
Harold Innocent ... Timothy
Anna Massey ... Mary
Joanna Kanska Joanna Kanska ... Tamara
Peter Kelly Peter Kelly ... Gavin
Tim Barlow Tim Barlow ... Mr. Morrow (as Timothy Barlow)
Hugh Thomas Hugh Thomas ... Dr. Karabekian
Charles Augins Charles Augins ... Choreographer
Peter Brewis Peter Brewis ... Freddy
Joolia Cappleman Joolia Cappleman ... Costume Designer
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Storyline

Dexter King plays straight man to unpleasant comedian Ron Anderson. He falls in love with Kate, a pretty nurse he meets when he is receiving injections for hay fever. When Anderson fires him, he acquires the title role in a musical stage version of "The Elephant Man". Kate dumps him when she suspects he is having an affair with a fellow cast member, and he must win her back. Written by Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice.utas.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

2 metri di allergia See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$510,712
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rowan Atkinson described his character as a "complete and utter shitbag". See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 6 mins) In a hallway made of bricks, a drunk character falls against the walls and onto the floor, causing the "brick" set to wobble. See more »

Quotes

Ron Anderson: Face it, King, you're worthless and weak and the chances of you getting a girlfriend without the aid of a virus which wiped out the entire male population of the planet are frankly pretty remote.
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Crazy Credits

Michael Fitzgerald's full credit in the movie is "Man with vacuum cleaner tube up his bottom." See more »

Alternate Versions

The American DVD release is different to the original British version. Several scenes are missing or shortened on the DVD. This includes the scene in which Goldblum is sitting in his agent's office watching other actors reading for great new plays and films, while he is offered a "shake and vac" commercial. Also inexplicably cut from the DVD release is the cameo appearance by Graham "Suggs" McPherson (from "Madness") during the "It Must Be Love" sequence. See more »

Connections

References Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Crying In The Rain
Written by Carole King & Howard Greenfield
Performed by Philip Pope
Published by Screen Gems-EMI Music Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Ironically, its Rowan who plays the straight man in Richard Curtis' fictionalised version of his frustration playing straight man for Rowan.
27 June 2004 | by Ben_CheshireSee all my reviews

Richard Curtis has written some impressive romantic comedies (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones, Love Actually) and had his hand in the writing of some of the top British TV comedy of our time (Mr Bean, Not the 9 O'Clock news, Blackadder). This was one of his first scripts to be turned into a feature film.

He wrote this script about his own experience playing straight man to Rowan Atkinson on his early tours. Curtis was frustrated in real life with being under the shadow of Atkinson, but the script obviously makes a caricature out of this by turning Atkinson into a terrible, nasty villain. But, Rowan fans beware, this is not as fun as it sounds. The unkindest touch of all was added by Rowan himself. He makes himself appear completely unfunny. He plays his backstage self without a touch of humour or subversion - one would almost swear that Rowan just really was a nasty bast*rd.

But anyone who's seen Rowan's stage shows, or Not the 9 O'Clock News, knows that Rowan can play a bastard with ironic humour, where we know he's only kidding - on stage, Rowan specialised in bastards like the vicars and schoolmasters he's played, and nobodies like Mr Bean. Here, Rowan knew it was important for the story for Rowan to not actually be funny, and the straight man to actually be funny. Plus, we need to root for the straight man (played by Jeff Golblum). Rowan's being a villain is the story's main source of conflict and dramatic tension. Without it, there isn't a story. So Rowan has, ironically, done a brave and humble thing by agreeing to play it completely straight, humourless and cold - and he shows himself a really good dramatic actor (though the experience may be disheartening for Rowan fans).

So if you're a Rowan fan, this will not be for you. If you're a Richard Curtis fan, this is a fairly simple and conventional script, but its quite a fun romantic comedy nonetheless. Emma Thomson is suitably cold and severe, and Jeff Golblum makes a good everyman. 6/10.


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