|A fine comedy. 6 or 7 scenes are worth their weight in gold.||1fatts 03/12/2007 |
| Richard Benjamin's first directing job is surprisingly assured and successful. The apocryphal story is that when Mel Brooks was the junior writer on Sid Ceaser's Your Show of Shows, the reknowned actor, womanizer and drunk, Errol Flynn, was scheduled to be the week's guest, and Mel Brooks was assigned to babysit Flynn and make sure he showed up sober. Brooks claims it never happened and, in fact, that Flynn was never on the show. Who cares! It's a great premise anyway. Peter O'toole turns in another over-the-top performance as the Flynn character, here named "Allan Swan". Those of us old enough to remember Caeser in his hayday really appreciate the take that Joseph Bologna does on the character. The scene where the young writer, Stone nee Steinberg, takes the matinee idol home to Brookyn for dinner (His aunt shows up in her wedding gown; "I only wore it once" she says in a New York Yiddish accent.) is hard to over-appreciate.|
The movie lags here and there and ten or twelve minutes of tightening would have been to the good, but I'm quibbling. The cast shines; the writing is sharp; and the nod to "Your Show of Shows" brings warmth to those of us who remember when.