Awfully Good: Corky Romano

  While Johnny Depp makes a return to form in BLACK MASS, here's a mob movie that actually destroyed someone's career…

Corky Romano (2001)

Director: Rob Pritts
Stars: Chris Kattan, Peter Falk, Vinessa Shaw


Chris Kattan gets work. Repent, sinners!

Even though A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY flopped, it was still clear that one Saturday Night Live star had the power to be a true comedic force with a successful career in Hollywood. And then there was Chris Kattan, who went on to make CORKY ROMANO.

At least Chris Kattan knows what it's like to watch this movie.

CORKY ROMANO is the story of an estranged son who returns home to go undercover in the FBI in order to steal evidence that could put his crime boss father in jail. It's essentially THE DEPARTED starring Chris Kattan instead of Leonardo DiCaprio. Or even worse, it's BLUE STREAK, but with Chris Kattan swapped out for Martin Lawrence. Oh God, just typing that makes my butthole pucker in terror. 

The grandfather from THE PRINCESS BRIDE is allowed to have other interests when not reading to children, you know…

This has to be one of the most laziest comedies ever, filled with low hanging fruits of laughter and carbon copies of other, better, funnier movies. If it feels like CORKY ROMANO was thrown together at the last minute, it's because it literally was. With an impending acting strike scheduled for September of 2000, the studio fast tracked this movie at ludicrous speed. It was written in 10 days in May (by the guy who would go on to write DEUCE BIGALOW: EUROPEAN GIGALO), went in to production in June and was completely wrapped by August. 

"How did you spend your summer vacation, Timmy?"
"Oh, I just wrote, shot and edited a feature film starring Mango from SNL. He farts in Sean Penn's borther's face!"

Chris is disappointed that he will never earn his Dignity badge. 

The outcome is predictable, especially with Kattan as the lead. I don't have anything against the guy (his schtick was used effectively in UNDERCOVER BROTHER), but he is not the kind of actor that should be anchoring his own films. His squirrely, overactive style makes Corky Romano an incredibly annoying character, the kind that makes you want to immediately change the channel or burn down the theater. Even on paper he's a terrible protagonist—an assistant veterinarian working at a clinic called Hooters and Pussies who's overly positive about life yet constantly destroys everything around him. If running in to things and knocking things over is all it takes to make you laugh, CORKY ROMANO might be your new favorite comedy.

There's never a dull moment for Michael Bay's dog.

It's easy to ignore the fact that the plot makes no sense—choosing Corky to go undercover over literally anyone else more qualified, the assumption that stealing a folder of evidence is somehow going to make the federal case against a mobster disappear, etc.—since there are even worse things to drive you crazy. For example, the way they treat the rest of the cast. The great Peter Falk is tasked with lying in bed twiddling his thumbs for the entire movie. Future BATTLESHIP director Peter Berg and former RESERVOIR DOG Chris Penn play Corky's brothers and their entire characters revolve around the idea that Berg is illiterate and Penn is a closeted homosexual. That's all we know about them and the movie just keeps constantly making the same tasteless jokes over and over again. And then there's poor Vinessa Shaw, forced to be the love interest in a Chris Kattan movie. It is exactly as nauseous and forced as it sounds. Watching Chris Kattan kiss a woman is more unnatural than the McRib.

In hindsight, this probably wasn't worth it for a role in BATTLESHIP.

Like with most comedies, you can overlook downsides like these as long as it's funny. That's not the case here. CORKY ROMANO's idea of humor ranges from predictable to truly bizarre. There are the expected gags, like Corky's undercover name being Agent Pissant (they really try to get their mileage out of that joke) or Chris Kattan having to dress in disguise as an effeminate mailman, a Girl Scout and a neo-Nazi skinhead. There are also bigger comedy set pieces: Corky doesn't know how to fire a gun properly during a hostage standoff! Corky has to negotiate between Vietnamese and Thai drug dealers but he doesn't speak either of the languages! Corky accidentally does cocaine with a police dog and has to give a speech to children! 

"Everyday's a workout when you gotta carry around a 20 pound python in your jeans."

Then there's the weirder stuff. At one point, Corky sniffs some girl's panties while getting maced in the face as "Superman" by Three Doors Down inexplicably plays. Shortly thereafter he gets in to a martial arts fight (complete with wirework) with female WWE star Sable and a little person. But perhaps most bizarre is the random moments of seriousness towards the end as CORKY ROMANO forgets all its previous gay jokes and has the main character seriously address his brother's sexuality with a conversation about him accepting who he is and coming out of the closet. There's a similar scene where Peter Berg confronts his father for being too busy to teach him how to read. 

Give it time, Zach. Give it time.

In case you're wondering how the film handles these topics, in the final scene Peter Falk outs his one son as a "fruit" in front of an entire wedding ceremony (yes, they make Vinessa Shaw marry Chris Kattan… *shudder*) and then he announces to everyone else how proud he is of his other "friggin' retard" son. Everybody cheers. The audience weeps.  

At least the movie has a happy ending!

Chris Kattan talking about weiners, gonads, and hate crimes. BONUS: Zach Galifianakis' cameo.

Farts, trouser snakes, more farts, cocaine and other delightful things. 

No, thank God. 

What is love? Baby, buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • You want to punch Chris Kattan in the face
  • Peter Berg is illiterate
  • Chris Penn is gay
  • Chris Kattan breaks something
  • The movie actually plays "Secret Agent Man" when Corky goes to the FBI
Double shot if:
  • Chris Kattan makes out with a dog

Thanks to Foster for suggesting this week's movie!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Extra Tidbit: If you haven't heard Jim Breuer's hilarious story about Norm MacDonald messing with Chris Kattan on SNL, I highly suggest checking it out.
Source: JoBlo.com



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