Monday, May 7, 2012

All of Me

All of Me; comedy, USA, 1984; D: Carl Reiner, S: Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Victoria Tennant

Lawyer Roger is assigned to a terminally ill but insanely rich Edwina who hired a swami to put her soul into the body of a woman called Terry, who allegedly does not mind that since she will join the "comic unity". Also, all of Edwina's fortune will then be signed to Terry. In a mishap, after her death, Edwina's soul accidentally lands in Roger's half of the body, while Terry gets all of her fortune and turns out to be a con-artist. In a lot of misadventures, Roger is able to bring Edwina's soul into Terry, while Terry's soul is voluntarily sent inside a horse.

Steve Martin copes well in the demanding role of playing a 'shizophrenic' hero who has to share half of his body with a woman, gaining for his performance a Golden Globe nod and even winning the New York Film Critics Circle Award, whereas his partner, the underrated comedian Lily Tomlin, is equally as good. However, while their contribution is admirable, the sole movie "All of Me" is, just like previous Reiner-Martin collaborations - except for their good "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" - only a flat comedy in which the best you can expect is a good joke here and there. Consisting out of crude, blatant or spasmodic jokes (one would expect that Roger speaks to himself out loud when communicating with Edwina or have a 'feminine' walk in the first couple of minutes after the "soul migration", but definitely not after that when he is in public, which seems contrived) as well as plot holes (i.e. the story contradicts even itself: if Edwina was bound to a wheelchair for so long, would she be able to suddenly walk so perfectly after she entered Roger's body?; the plot solution near the end is entirely silly), with only a few sparse emotional moments showing up near the end, when the two of them start to bond as friends. However, despite no spiritual dimension, "All of Me" still has a few hilarious jokes, like when Roger says to a blind African-American Saxophone player that he is actually white or when Edwina's funeral mass is completely empty, except for the priest reading out condolences of her clients ("She was a great customer - Jay and Jay wheelchairs...She will be sorely missed - Orthopaedic mattresses Inc.").


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