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#36- A Fish Called Wanda

Quick recap: George and Ken plan to go on a jewelry heist so they bring in two Americans to help them pull it off: Wanda and Otto, who are lovers but pretend to be brother and sister so that they can backstab the other two later. The jewelry heist comes off almost perfectly except that no one trusts anyone and every man is in it for himself. Hilarity ensues.

there are in fact fish in this movie.

there are in fact fish in this movie.

Fun(?) Fact: A guy in Denmark thought the scene where Ken gets fries up his nose was so hilarious, that he died laughing. That’s not an exaggeration by the way. He LITERALLY died from laughter.



My thoughts: I had high hopes for this film a) because several people recommended it to me and b) because Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the funniest movie ever created. In retrospect, maybe my expectations were too high because I only found myself actually laughing a couple of times. I’ll be the first one to admit that reviewing a humorous movie is the hardest job because humor is so subjective.  That is, unless you are one of those people who have paid money to see Grown-Ups 2. If you are, it’s time to rethink the sad direction your life has taken.

One thing this movie has going for it are the characters. Jamie Lee Curtis as a comedian was a surprise and Otto, played by Kevin Kline, stole the show. The two played off each other so well as Wanda went back and forth from being so turned on by him to thinking he is the stupidest person alive, which he kind of was. Many of my favorite scenes involved Otto spying on Wanda and Archie and then trying to cover up for why he was there. And since I’m on the subject of Archie, John Cleese was wonderful. Archie starts off as a whipped puppy dog with his wife always telling him what to do and his job as barrister not giving him any respect. But then Wanda enters the picture and he slowly starts to transform. My favorite scene of the whole movie is the one where he is dancing naked and singing in German and then in walk a family with children. It perfectly illustrated Archie’s bad luck.

The character that was the most complicated for me was, of course, Ken. I understand the reasoning behind adding the stutter to become a part of who Ken was, but it just turned me off to the comedy anytime he tried to talk. The scene where Otto sticks fries up Ken’s nose just made me feel sorry for him and I especially hated Otto eating his fish in front of him. I knew there was humor in the irony he was such an animal lover and when he had been given the job of murdering the old lady, he kept killing her dogs on accident. But I just didn’t laugh. For many people, Ken was the one who made them love the movie, but it just wasn’t for me. At the same time, I’m not really sure if taking away the stutter would’ve been a good idea, either. I was happy when he ended the movie as a hero of sorts, but that came after feeling sorry for him the whole time.

On a positive note, apparently Michael Palin was confronted by a group of stutterers for how he portrayed their disability and in turn, created a center in London to help children who stutter.

Final review: 2/5.  comedy is much harder to pull off than I realized

How I watched it: this one is on Netflix Instant!

Up next:  either The Best Years of our Lives or The Departed. It depends on which one Netflix decides to send me first



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