Posts Tagged ‘Dana Carvey’
Opportunity Knocks currently holds down a robust 13% on Rotten Tomatoes (I say “currently” because I’m secretly hoping this blog entry generates a wave of support with armchair critics, who through sheer force of will are able to bump it up to a 22). This is inexcusable considering it stars Dana Carvey, one of the funniest comedians of the 80’s/90’s. Yes, the plot is formulaic. Yes, the story is a little thin – unless you’re from Chicago, in which case scenes of Carvey and his girlfriend using a paddleboat on the lake at Lincoln Park Zoo are endearing, as is the fact that the girlfriend’s father’s safe combination is the date on which Cubs great Ernie Banks hit his 500th homerun. Did I mention that the safe’s prized possession is the actual ball Ernie hit? Chicago roolz! Anyhooter, it’s certainly not Vacation, Tommy Boy or Happy Gilmore, but Carvey owns the movie and delivers all of the trademark lines/impressions (including George Bush, leper-guy, Mick Jagger-ish rocker guy, etc.) which made him a household name. It was funny stuff back in the day and for some of us it remains funny.
The supporting cast is adequate, and boosted by the presence of Robert Loggia, Hollywood’s equivalent of Methuselah. Adam West is in this category too. Neither of these dudes ever seems to age mentally – they’re eternally sharp. I loved Loggia in Independence Day, I loved him in Big and I love him in this. His “I eat gravel sandwiches for breakfast” voice gives him an EF Hutton-ish quality in his roles – when he talks, people better damn well listen, or chances are they’ll be flying head-first out a window.
Damn I love his voice. In fact, a fictitious conversation between him and Opportunity Knocks’ director, Donald Petrie, just ran through my head:
Petrie: Bob, you done gargling that 8oz. mug of brass tacks?
Petrie: Great! Now, are you ready to do the scene with Dana in the bathroom – you know, where he comes up with his awesome idea for stall door advertising?
Petrie: Ok — at the end, your line is “Way to go, Jonathan!” Can I hear you say it for me one time?
Loggia (gnawing on a wrench): “WAY TO GO, JONNAATHAANN!”
Petrie: I just came.
13%? For a movie featuring an on-fire Dana Carvey, the legendary Robert Loggia, a sappy-yet-endearing love song by Tina Turner and a reggae song by a singer who you’d swear is black until you looked him up on Wikipedia? I don’t think so.
Holy crap – IMDB just reminded me that James Tolkan is in this movie. He’s the guy that plays the surly principal in Back to the Future and the surly, cigar-puffing commander in Top Gun. James Tolkan is, in a word, surly — and because he’s surly, he’d take 13%, munch it down like a bag of Bugles and then poop out a 73. Guaranteed.