Review Date: October 13, 2000
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Writer: Tim Meadows, Dennis McNicholas, Andrew Steele
Producers: Lorne Michaels
Tim Meadows as Leon Phelps
Karyn Parsons as Julie
Will Ferrell as Lance
An oversexed talk show host who still believes that he's living in the 70s gets fired from his radio show because of his crude dialogue on the air. While trying to find another job with his pretty producer friend, he receives a letter from an old girlfriend, who wants to hook back up with him and take him around the world. With that in mind, he begins the search to find his mystery woman among the hundreds of ladies that he's bedded over the years.
Another typical SNL sketch turned into a movie featuring a very hip character sadly placed inside a paper thin plot, with many weak moments, a couple of inspiring touches and a handful of funny jokes. This movie is not necessarily a good movie and not necessarily a bad movie, it's sort of just...there. And I guess that's what frustrates me even more about this film. I really liked Leon Phelps. I really dug his style, his lack of social etiquette with women and his funky duds, but why-oh-why couldn't these guys come up with something a little funnier, or at least, more interesting. The story is lame. Leon loses his job and has to find another one. An ex-girlfriend of his wants to get it on with him but he doesn't know who she in. All sketch stuff, but not enough for a movie. Why can't these SNL movies be a little more ambitious? Especially with a character such as Leon, a guy who despite his complete lack of tact with the ladies, still seems to come off as a "nice guy". But the bottom line with any comedy is the laughs, the laughs and the laughs. And unfortunately, there weren't many in this film. Sure there were one or two very funny scenes, including the one exceptional scenario featuring a posse of Leon-hating men suddenly breaking out into song, and many clever moments, but overall, I was just sitting there, waiting for something really funny to happen. Something really funny that never came.
Meadows was great as Phelps, Billy Dee ideal as the smooth talking bar owner and Will Ferrell memorable once again as the ambiguously gay rich guy. Kudos also go out to Ms. Tiffany Amber-Thiessen's luscious breasts, who in themselves delivered great performances, but sadly, the film as a whole just fell short in most every other category. One interesting thing to note is that despite the film featuring some nudity, although none from the lead actresses (or from Julianne Moore in a surprising cameo), the film on the whole was very tame. I mean, here's a guy who thinks only about sex and the nastiest thing that he seemed to ever say was "want to take it in the butt?" You'd think that with an "R" rating, they would have tried to take some more chances, but na-ha, no SOUTH PARK here, folks. Anyway, I know it may sound like I'm mostly knocking the film but overall, I had an okay time. Enough to recommend it for fans of the sketch and maybe even some people out there who are looking for a different kind of easy laugh. A definite video movie, that's fer sure.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian