Push comes to shove, if someone asked me what the funniest film ever made was, I would likely list two options. One would be Duck Soup. The other would be Used Cars. In fact I recently got an email asking me just that question:
“Dear Andre Dellamorte, what is the funniest movie ever made? Also your blog entry about dancing makes me want to have sex with you in front of my parents.”
Well, Mr. McCain, first, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule, and second, you should have seen me last night. For the second time in the last month, someone wanted to have a dance-off. It was crazy. But I’m not a sex-in-front-of-parents kind of guy. Thanks for the pictures, though.
Anyway, Used Cars follows Kurt Russell’s Rudy Russo as he tries to make his way from being a used car dealer to the state senate. His boss Luke Fuchs is a kind and decent man with a heart problem, while across the street is Luke’s twin brother Roy L. Fuchs (both played by Jack Warden in what could be the best role of his career). when Luke does have a heart attack, Rudy and his co-workers, including Gerrit Graham’s superstitious Jeff and Frank McRae’s mechanic Jim (note perfect he is) bury Luke on the lot to keep Roy L’s hands off of it. Complications ensue when Luke’s daughter Barbara (Deborah Harmon) shows up.
Pound for pound, there is no funnier movie when it comes to set up/pay off. Though anyone who’s a fan of Back to the Future will spot the same mechanics, these guys are geniuses, to the point that I was surprised when Edgar Wright told me it didn’t make much of an impression on him (though he does love BttF)
It’s weird how Robert Zemeckis is Gone Baby, Gone from the modern world. Will the man make a film that isn’t mo-cap ever again? Probably not.
Ultimately I don’t want to give up any of the set pieces, from the scene mentioned in the title of this post, to the two commercial, to the death of Toby, to Frank McRae’s response to the protesters (the funniest line reading in the history of cinema), to the finale. I last watched this film on Thanksgiving about a year and a half bck, and now I’m in the middle of it on Superbowl Sunday. This picture is America. And if it doesn’t make you laugh, there’s something wrong.
Late Update: OH MY GOD! The commentary is amazing, and Kurt Russell suggests half the cast was high on coke. Great honest commentary.