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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.79%
Worth A Look36.84%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 31.58%
Total Crap: 15.79%

2 reviews, 7 user ratings

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Jiminy Glick in La La Wood
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by Erik Childress

"Spotty Like The TV Show, But Much Funnier Than Paul Fischer"
4 stars

In essence, the creation of Jiminy Glick is something that’s long overdue; an amalgamation in a fat suit of all the third-rate junket journalists out there making a living off the celebrities obliged to talk to them for an apropos fifteen minutes. Martin Short’s attempt to give this character his own show on Comedy Central was often a scattershot affair that often got too caught up with fat jokes and binge eating to deliver 22 minutes of non-stop comedy. The movie version isn’t much different in its division of flat and laugh-out-loud humor, but it does give us more to laugh at than just an overweight celebrity interviewer and when it hits its mark, if you’re along for the joke you may just pull a Glick and choke on laughter.

Jiminy Glick is a big, fat slob and is far from lovable. He’s ill-prepared for his job, sleeps through screenings and whose love for celebrities is based solely on their willingness to talk to him. It wouldn’t surprise anyone one bit if Short based his character on Dark Horizon’s Paul Fischer, who possesses all of the above qualities minus Glick’s overt cheeriness. Jiminy has been assigned by his Butte, Montana TV outlet to cover the 2002 Toronto Film Festival, so he has packed up the wife (Jan Hooks) and twin Glick boys on the “dark road” that David Lynch has warned us about.

No, not the real David Lynch, but Short’s impression of him comes pretty darn close to the real thing. Intricately the moments with Lynch are both very amusing and yet disappointing amongst the broader canvas. Tying in some half-handed murder plot to the Lana Turner killings is more of a thrusted-upon distraction to bulk up the running time than fully exploring the potential for a full-out Lynch parody. Capitalizing on Lynch’s bizarro world is instant currency for film nuts, and even the little bits that Short creates are dead on the money. But the resolution of this subplot is about as funny as the dragged-out diagnosis at the end of Psycho.

Where the laughs do come in spades though are in the moments where Short attacks the “me, me, me” of junket journalism. Glick becoming as big a story as the celebrities he covers is unfortunately prescient in a world populated with your Earl Dittmans, Shawn Edwards and Byron Allens. The golden moments in the film come with a pair of interviews with Steve Martin, who teaches us the secret to full frontal nudity and Kurt Russell, whose grilling on why Snake Plissken wore an eyepatch should be put into the Museum of Broadcast Communications. These segments are so funny that you’ll forget how flat the other attempts at satire are.

Pampered, pompous moviestars are no great secret in Hollywood, but Elizabeth Perkin's fading, alcohol star isn't very amusing and Corey Pearson’s Johnny Depp-like actor/director is a giant misstep. That is, until Glick gets around to interviewing him. Why not find an easier (and way less gifted) target than Depp and his soft-spoken approach towards his craft to attack? Even the mocking of independent cinema doesn’t come close to tapping into the absurd pretentiousness that does find its way on the festival circuit. Films like “The Queens of Africa” and “Growing Up Gandhi” are too simplified and way too broad to produce any lasting chuckles. Although including “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Andrea Bocelli on the soundtrack listing is a huge laugh and just one of the potentials that I caught.

Unlike Glick, Martin Short is not out to hog the spotlight, serving up generous platters to his co-stars. Jan Hooks (sorry to ask, but is she wearing makeup or not?) is one of our most underutilized comediennes and brings us to laugh even when her and Short are struggling to bring life to throwaway scenes. The real scene thief of the film though is John Michael Higgins. Long a collaborator in the Christopher Guest repertoire, Higgins will battle Pierce Brosnan in The Matador this year for the most vulgar colloquisms to be heard on screen. Some may find Higgins trying too hard with the innuendos, but not a line passed from him that I couldn’t wait to add to my sailor-speak.

Celebrities including Susan Sarandon, Kiefer Sutherland, Willem Dafoe, Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker are good sports for the Glick slayings. Kevin Kline appropriately puts him in his place but Sharon Stone proves that celebrities can be just as big a whore by talking to anyone. The film overall is certainly a mixed bag and is best when taking subtle jabs at its targets. We don’t need to see the twins bicycling twice to get the Shining reference we immediately assumed when the Glicks arrive at their hotel. It would have better to just dump the Lynch stuff altogether and concentrate on Glick’s catapult “from obscurity to media stardom.” It might have been even more episodic, but we probably would have got more moments like the Martin & Russell interviews. The great junket whore movie is still awaiting to be made. But Jiminy Glick In Lalawood is a step in the right direction.

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originally posted: 05/06/05 14:01:46
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/27/16 Anne I stopped watching it 1/2 way thru, wondered why I watched it that long.... 1 stars
12/04/06 jerry unbelievably funny at times 5 stars
2/07/06 tatum If you are a fan of the show... 4 stars
5/16/05 Chris Stephens The show sucked...why make a movie? 1 stars
5/13/05 s What a shitty movie with the worst character... so damn annoying... and i like short 1 stars
5/06/05 John Thomas Hysterical. 5 stars
9/21/04 perkins lovedit 5 stars
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  06-May-2005 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005



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