Thursday, June 01, 2006

Movie Log: Mom and Dad Save the World

Into every life a little utter frivolity must fall, and this was my dose last night. I'd caught about five minutes of this movie a week or two ago, while waiting for the forecast on the Weather Channel in the morning, and decided to Netflix it (since I wasn't sure if I'd ever watched it all the way through).

It's a fairly dumb movie, and quite a silly movie, but it's always entertaining. It also stars Jeffrey Jones, and I have a soft spot for movies that star people like Jeffrey Jones (who usually play "Angry Neighbor," or "Mean Cop," or most often "Principal Nastyface"). There just aren't enough movies with heroic roles for usually-villainous character actors, to my mind. Jon Lovitz is perfectly cast as the hammy, not-quite-as-stupid-as-the-rest-of-the-planet-but-still-pretty-stupid Emperor Tod. And of course Teri Garr, the "mom" of the title, is cute, funny and adorable as ever. (But it is a bit sad to see her in Frumpy Mom mode after watching her Hot Patootie act just a little while ago in Young Frankenstein. Yes, there are twenty years between the two movies, but Teri Garr is an eternal cutie.)

But the most fun thing about this movie is seeing that old Flash Gordon plot get the dumb treatment. It was pretty dumb to begin with, so it only makes more sense when we learn that, in this version, all of the inhabitants of the planet Spengo are dumb as a box of hair.

Mom and Dave Save the World has no depth whatsoever, but it's a very entertaining SF comedy that never devolves into a parody -- of itself, or of anything else. And that's both rare and admirable.

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