Friday, June 24, 2011
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
"The King of Pain" is a blogathon hosted by the site The Dark of the Matinee. The goal is to watch a bad movie from a friend or family member's DVD collection. The complete list of participating blogs will go up June 28 at the host site.
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
from Reid's DVD collection
Of course I remember Andrew Dice Clay. I didn't think much of him during the peak of his popularity, such as it was. I preferred Sam Kinison. (What can I say? I was a dumb teenager who didn't know better.) I have no doubt that stand-up comedy is one of the toughest acts anyone can do, and it probably does make it somewhat easier if one can adopt an on-stage persona that makes one identifiable. But when your schtick consists of acting like a wanna-be John Travolta making juvenile sex jokes, how far can you really go with that? Actually, in watching The Adventures of Ford Fairlane last night, ADC did remind me in places of another, better stand-up comic: Rodney Dangerfield. Maybe it was all the mugging for the camera and the exaggerated gestures. Of course, in ADC's case, that's all part of his Guido look.
Terry told me once about the Guidos she grew up around, and according to her, the stereotypes are true: over-exaggerated sense of manhood, tacky fashion sense, love of cars and of cruising in them, questionable treatment of women. It's one thing to see them in a movie or TV show; quite another to be around them, I'd imagine, which is why my first-hand experience with them is limited.
Here in New York we have a radio deejay named Joe Causi who has a similar schtick, but the big difference is that you want to hang out with him and party with him, because he still comes across as a down-to-earth guy and not as God's gift to humanity. ADC probably would have no use for him, though, since he plays disco oldies as well as rock oldies. A major theme in Fairlane is the need for True Rock to stay alive in the face of glitzy, soulless pop. Ed O'Neill's character, for instance, is a former disco singer turned cop, so he's a natural nemesis to ADC's "rock and roll detective." We know Ford's a rock and roll detective because we're constantly reminded of it by every other character Ford comes into contact with.
Fairlane is a piece of crap, make no mistake: it has pretensions of being a modern Sam Spade-type crime movie crossed with Beverly Hills Cop, but fails utterly at both. Its awfulness is more "stoopid" than plain bad, however - it wants to be genuinely entertaining, but has no idea how, so it settles for simple goofiness, like the class clown trying to get attention by making silly faces and impressions. It may get a few laughs at first, but it wears mighty thin before long. As a result, my level of contempt for it is not that deep, despite the presence of Gilbert Gottfried (who, thankfully, dies fairly early in the movie). Still, I would not watch this again.
Fairlane is from Reid's DVD collection, which he says is over 500 strong. He kept insisting that not only did he have worse movies than this, but that I wouldn't hate it as much as I thought I would. Normally our taste in movies is somewhat compatible, but I think he has a tendency to go down roads that I wouldn't, movie-wise. This is certainly one of them.