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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Haunted Honeymoon


***½ Haunted Honeymoon. Comedy.

Directed by: Gene Wilder.
Starring: Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Dom DeLuise, Jonathan Pryce



We rented this from Netflix.

Larry Abbot (Gene Wilder) and Vickie Pearle (Gilda Radner) are stars of the Manhattan Mystery Theater radio program and are engaged to be married. Unfortunately, once they were engaged, Larry developed a speech impediment. Vickie thinks it's just pre-wedding jitters, so they continue with their plans and travel to the mansion where Larry grew up and meet Larry's eccentric family, headed by great-aunt Kate (Dom DeLuise).

Larry's uncle decides that the best way to cure Larry's speech impediment is to scare it out of him, so he and other family members set about trying various innovative and ever-funnier ways to scare him. Meanwhile, however, something spooky really is going on, and Larry finds a dead body in his bed, which later disappears.

Haunted Honeymoon is just total silliness. There are lots of sight gags and puns and pratfalls, and not a minute goes by without someone sounding, acting, or looking goofy. Gene Wilder was delightful, as was Gilda Radner, though it was a little sad watching her and knowing it was her last movie. Dom DeLuise in drag is always hilarious. And there's a classic scene with Gene Wilder and the butler's legs that's a must-see.

The problem, though, with movies that set out to be funny is that often they try too hard, and some of the jokes fall flat. That's the case with this one. The plot doesn't hang together well, and it ultimately feels more like a series of loosely-connected comedy skits, possibly from Gilda's days on SNL (which was the best of that show, btw).

Still, it was a fun movie, and an entertaining evening with the family.

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