This week, as Pride Month comes to a close, we take on a landmark film in the gay cinema canon, 1990’s LONGTIME COMPANION, directed by Norman Rene. The first mainstream movie to tackle the AIDS epidemic, we discuss if this gentle ensemble drama still holds up today, and if it deserves to be discovered by a whole new generation. Spoiler alert: it does.
This week, we take on 1997’s extremely bizarre true-life tale BUDDY, directed by Caroline Thompson. Rene Russo plays an animal-loving socialite who accepts a gorilla into her home. Once grown, she dresses it in a three-piece suit and basically forces it to become her servant, in a move co-host Luke describes as “a stunning critique on capitalism and the class system.” A horror film posing as family entertainment, there is much to discuss here, including rollerskate-wearing chimps and Buddy’s love of lipstick and lingerie. Did we mention this movie is bizarre?
This week, the fountain of youth wreaks havoc on the lives of Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, and Goldie Hawn in 1992’s dark comedy DEATH BECOMES HER, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Streep plays a vain, aging actress trapped in a loveless marriage who takes a magical potion that renders her forever young, only to discover that immortality comes at a price. Meanwhile, Willis screams, Hawn vamps, and co-hosts Luke and Steve try to figure out if this effects-heavy satire earns its newfound cult status–not to mention question Zemeckis’s talent and Streep’s acting abilities. The hot takes come fast and loose in this one.
This week, a weekend trip to Myrtle Beach will change the lives of four best friends forever in 1989’s SHAG: THE MOVIE, directed by Zelda Barron. It should come as no surprise that this dance-centric film was hoping to ride on the coattails of DIRTY DANCING to box office victory, but instead found that you need more than choreography by Kenny Ortega to truly impress moviegoers. Yet there is more going on here than meets the eye, including a welcome female sensibility and an easy-going charm courtesy of its talented cast. Also there is waterboarding with Wild Turkey. And ear-frenching. So much ear-frenching. At the very least, it allows co-host Steve to break out his Southern accent again, which is always welcome.
This week, nuclear war meets teen comedy as we take on 1986’s ill-conceived THE MANHATTAN PROJECT, directed by Marshall Brickman. Christopher Collet stars as a high school genius who steals some plutonium from John Lithgow and uses it to create an atomic bomb for the science fair. Yes, you read all of that correctly, a film whose premise could rank as one the dumbest things we have encountered on this podcast–and also what makes it kind of charming. Too bad it’s so thematically inept and, well, bone-deep stupid, although Lithgow’s innate sexiness makes the proceedings somewhat more palatable. The man is an Adonis, plain and simple.
This week, SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!?! celebrates Valentine’s Day by taking on one of the least romantic romances ever filmed: 1986’s UNDER THE CHERRY MOON, directed by Prince. The pop icon followed up his smash hit PURPLE RAIN with a black-and-white homage to screwball comedies that plays like a giant middle finger to critics and fans alike. Those expecting musical performances should look elsewhere, as this movie is far more concerned with its unlikeable leads trading lame barbs. Naturally, co-host Luke loved it. He truly has no shame.