Jeff Daniels's Comedic Crowning Achievement!
I just saw the Super Sucker world premiere in Ann Arbor, Michigan (where Jeff Daniels grew up and now runs Purple Rose Films) and it is absolutely hilarious. Sidestepping all the toilet-level humor and midwestern-centric culture which made Escanaba in da Moonlight a less-than-perfect success, Super Sucker is a sharp comedy for the American everyman. Daniels stars as Fred Barlow, a vacuum salesman with an life-long passion for his trade. When Johnsonville, Michigan proves not big enough for both Barlow and his arch rival salesman (Harve Presnell), their boss creates a contest in which the man with the most sales wins exclusive rights to the city. Barlow is out of luck until he discovers a drapery attachment that pleases housewives in more ways than one. But will the "American Association for the Abuse of Household Appliances" approve? And will Barlow's rival let such a gimmick steal his loyal customers? The plot twists, turns and tickles brilliantly. I must say, for an independent film, this is one marvelously professional production which easily outdoes most contemporary Hollywood comedies. Direction, cinematography, sound, editing and writing are all top notch. Not to mention the cast, a classic lineup of wacky salesmen, chock-full with comedic talent. You get to love them all. Matt Letscher especially shines as Daniels's eager and naive sales apprentice. Above everything, let's not forget Mr. Daniels. I'd go so far as to say that this film is his crowning achievement on many levels. Not only has he crafted one of his funniest roles and films ever, he's finally starred in a comedy that you're not ashamed to admit liking. I interviewed Daniels for Ann Arbor's CURRENT magazine a few weeks before the premiere and he said that if there's one thing he knows how to do, it's to make people laugh. The proof is in the pudding. You won't need a drapery attachment to get absolute pleasure from Super Sucker.
- Feb 24, 2002
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