Movies-A-Go-Go: Guarding Tess

1994 comedy

Rating: 12/20

Plot: A secret service agent has the unenviable task of guarding Tess, which happens to be the title of the movie. She's a little difficult to deal with, but he's stuck with her.

The third movie that Josh loaned me. Knowing I'm a Nicolas Cage fan, he knew it needed to be on my blog. He asked me to find the "Nicolas Cage moment." I decided to Movies-A-Go-Go the son of a bitch. As I think I might have typed somewhere in this (it was more than a month ago), I did see this movie at some point. Since it came out in 1994, that likely means I saw it at the Indiana Theater in Terre Haute with my wife.

Anyway, here were my Guarding Tess thoughts:

I may have seen this movie in the theater. I’ll have to check the date and then check with Jen who is just a little smarter than I am. (See? I did type about this. Like, right off the bat. I never checked with Jen, by the way, and I'm not even sure she's talking to me.)

Cage has had dialogue, but nobody is answering back. That would be a great idea for a movie actually, one where Cage keeps trying to talk to people but nobody ever replies.

Nic Cage--the only actor in the world who can sound slightly menacing when saying “Thank you” to a stewardess on a plane. That breathy, drawn-out thank you.

Stewardess? Flight attendant? Since the Trumpocalypse, I feel the need to be as politically correct as possible.

Maybe Cage can be a ghost in my movie? Or is that just ripping off Shymalammadingdong?

Cage and a phallic Washington Monument. That has to be intentional there, as the character’s escaping from under the thumb of Tess and becoming his own man.

Who plays Earl? I wish I could turn into an older guy like him. There’s a mild sophistication about him, and he’s got interesting hair. He looks like he should be in every single Charles Dickens adaptation.

I'm Austin Pendleton, best known for voicing "Gurgle" in Finding Nemo.

Shirley MacClaine, still a hot little number.

Her dialogue is well written because there’s nothing obvious about any of it. But there’s such bile, where even an allusion to Mr. Ed bites.


Maybe Cage’s character in my movie can be in a reality show he doesn’t know about where everybody else has been told not to talk to him. Or he’s being Punk’d. Is that still a thing? Being Punk’d? Ok, this idea feels a little too close to that Jim Carrey movie, so it’s not going to work.

I’ve noticed this about Cage. Every time he curses, he says the curse word (“shit,” in this case) like it’s the first time he’s ever done it and is trying it out.

I was told by Josh, who lent me this dvd, to watch for a Nicolas Cage moment. Was that “What does she want, chocolate? Some goddamn fruit drink? What do we look like waiters? Are we a bunch of waiters? We want to be down THERE!” it? That's a pretty good monologue.

That’s not a bad golf swing there, Shirley.

The “I’m not a caddie” speech. Build it up nice and raspy, Nic.

I know that president’s voice. Who is that? My guess is that it’ll end up being the director. (Note: Ha! Hugh Wilson, the director, does indeed do the voice of the president.)

Cage’s walk after the phone call with the president: like somebody had just shoved half a log up his rectum.

Ahh, Earl is the driver. He looks like a driver. So that’s what I want my middle-aged look to be--like somebody who would drive somebody important around.

“Give ‘em hell, Tess!” Nice attaboy moment there.

I would love to see Nancy Reagan and Shirley MacLaine boxing.

Baby Ruth--the preferred candy bar of former first ladies.

Gas: a dollar nine in ‘94.

The portly gentleman (Fred) just emerged from the gas station restroom and the state of every gas station restroom I’ve ever been in now makes perfect sense. That guy looks like he could destroy a gas station restroom.

Uh oh. Hold on, MacLaine, because Cage is walking angry. And he’s got his finger out!

“You little tick!”

Oh, very nice. MacLaine just imitated the Angry Cage word stress scream. “And he’s GONE!” “And he’s STAYING!” That was just about perfect. God damn, she's good.

Now Cage is on a toilet that looks like it’s too small.

The president just said “doo-doo.” Would Nixon have said “doo-doo”? Trump?

I can’t be the only person who has watched this movie and wanted a Cage/MacLaine sex scene, right?

This actor playing her son Barry has a set of lips on him. I’m a little intimidated.

Look at those fuckers!

I look forward to the day when I can sit around, get drunk, and watch my wife’s funeral footage.

Tess scaring Cage into spilling his coffee all over the dashboard of his car might have been a little bit of what you’d call overacting.

Married for such a short time, Nic? Ask Elvis’s daughter about that one.

“Elegant disdain yet sincere concern.” Tess makes her wardrobe selections similar to me.

The drama has completely overtaken the comedy here! The movie was never really funny, but it’s gotten plain somber now.

MacLaine is really good in this role.

Don’t take it out on the chair, Nic!


There’s actually something really funny and sad about these scenes with the chair. Nic slamming it into the ground twice, carrying it into the gas station, and then still having it later.

Earl turning out to be a villain was quite a twist. Never trust a guy who looks a little like a Muppet, I guess, right?

Oh, great. It’s that guy.

Shocked to see that James Rebhorn has only been in 126 movies because it seems like he's been in every single movie. 

“We need somebody to wear a trench coat, act very serious and monotone, and maybe hold a tablet of paper. Somebody who looks like a hardass but who also wouldn’t be above hawking insurance.”
“See if James Rebhorn has anything going on?”

Middle Eastern terrorists brand people? That doesn’t seem factual. This is probably the movie that pissed off Osama bin Laden.

The burns on Earl’s neck are obviously quotation marks. Check the other side of his neck for the others. Come on, I’m not even a CIA agent and can figure that one out.

Earl: “Agent Dougie.”

That’s his driving foot, Agent Dougie!

This was great at making me believe the tension between Cage and MacLaine. The “friendship” developing between the two was a lot more difficult to buy. And this interrogation in the hospital with Earl? I’m not even sure what this is.

“Abandoned farmhouse? I don’t think so.”

After shooting off people’s toes in the hospital, there’s no way they bring Cage to the farmhouse.

Oooh, Cage adding a whistle to his already astonishing repertoire.

Who the fuck are these kids in the sailor suits? How can a movie end with non-introduced kids in sailor suits? Grandchildren?

No MacClaine/Cage sex scene. Back in 199-whatever, I'm sure I demanded a refund.


cory said...

"Honeymoon in Vegas" is one of my favorite comedies. In 1994 I was seeing a woman, and I showed her that Cage classic...which she also loved. So when this came out I thought we would see it together. We were going to meet at the theater. Two things happened: she couldn't make it, and I was stuck with this crappy movie as I become more and more morose. Movies can bring back wonderful memories. This one doesn't (we broke up soon after). I am not an objective source here, but as I remember it, the acting was over-the-top, the humor was very forced, and these two actors go together like a lovesick guy and an empty seat next to him. A 9 is being kind. Thank you for dredging up that day. :)

Shane said...

Ha! I'm not proud for bringing up that memory, Cory.