Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two Little Two Late: "Two Much" (1996)

In the mood to hate the entire genre of film? Give "Two Much" a try. This movie is so bad, it has inspired me to work on my own screenplays again.

Antonio Banderas plays Art Dodge, a struggling art gallery owner and frustrated painter. He makes money by taking paintings to rich widows' homes and telling them their husbands had bought the art before they died. He goes to one house and ends up in the middle of the funeral for the father of Gene (Danny Aiello). There, Art picks up Gene's ex-wife Betty (Melanie Griffith, playing a thirty three year old woman). Art and Betty hook up, thanks to some hokey business with a ring from above, and Betty decides on a whirlwind romance and a wedding.

Art meets Betty's spiteful sister, Liz, and he falls in love with her immediately for some unknown reason, since she acts like a bitch to him constantly. Art makes up a twin brother, played by himself, to romance Liz. Gene sends henchmen after Art, since Gene still loves Betty. Juggling all the antics and brouhaha is Art's secretary Gloria, played by Joan Cusack, the only bright spot here. Art also has a senile dad played by Eli Wallach, who makes "The Golden Girls"'s Sophia seem downright subtle. You see where the movie is headed in the climactic wedding scene.

How awful is this film? Awful. Fernando Trueba's direction consists almost exclusively of closeups. Banderas, perhaps sensing he is on a sinking cinematic ship, mugs and runs around like a crack addict, trying to elicit some sort of humor. Hannah and Griffith are two of the most clueless females in movie history. Cusack is trotted in with Griffith for some "Working Girl" magic, but they only have one scene together, and not an inside joke in sight.

"Two Much" is three minutes shy of two solid hours, and I could only stomach it in twenty minute increments spread out over a week. Chopping at least half an hour off of this would have helped immensely, since the back half of the film consists mainly of Antonio running around and trying to be two places at once. Sincere question to discuss amongst yourselves: When was the last time Danny Aiello was in a good film?

Yes, I cracked open the big binder of half finished screenplays and got to work. If our own Chris Parry can be inspired to make films based on a good movie he saw, I have been inspired by knowing I can do better after witnessing two hours of unfunny crap. Oz, I may have a script for you in a couple of months. (*) out of five stars.