Something Wild

1986 existential romantic comedy

Rating: 14/20

Plot: The good news--Successful businessman Charlie has just been promoted to vice president! The bad news--his wife and children have left him, and he's a little lonely. That's probably why he falls for Lulu, a free-spirited and sexually adventurous gal who kind-of kidnaps him for the weekend. They get busy in a cheap motel room before heading off to meet her mother and attend her high school reunion. That's where they meet Ray, played by an actor named Ray, Lulu's ex-husband who just got out of jail. Ray isn't happy to meet Charlie at all. Oh, snap!

As likable as I think Jeff Daniels is (and heck, the guy's very nearly lovable), his character is too dopey in this. I really had trouble rooting for the guy after a while, especially after Ray came along. Daniels' character suddenly had this wide-eyed hero-worship thing that was annoying. There's nothing wrong with Ray Liotta, but the movie jarringly shifted gears when he came along, changing from a quirky screwball rom-com to a quirky and unpredictable but ineffective thriller. I liked Melanie Griffith and the blend of flirtatious and naive that she brings to the character. And she's Melanie Griffith, so there's a little bit of naked in the movie. There's a whole lot of music in this, and I had to give a bonus point for The Feelies playing the high school reunion. This has an 80's feel, never good since the 1980's were the worst decade for cinema, but it recalls After Hours a bit with an everyman character being tossed around by the universe. I guess the difference is that Charlie has a little more control over his situation. Well, his nutsack does anyway. There's a Jonathan Demme quirkiness that makes this whole thing an entertaining weekend, a something wild about Something Wild that keeps it a notch above most other romantic comedies. And since I typed that last sentence, I probably shouldn't be allowed to blog anymore. So long, everybody!


rio blanco racing said...

i thought lulu was hot

cory said...

Liotta is electric in this, and though uneven, the film is offbeat entertaining. A 16.