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Something Wild (1986).

January 25, 2008

The Scoop:
This entry in the curious ’80s subgenre of staightlaced-guys-swept-up-by-wild-dames-in-New-York-City (which includes “Who’s That Girl?”, “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “After Hours” and others) comes out on the top of the heap, mostly because of the irreverent directorial touch of Jonathan Demme and the fun performances of Melanie Griffith (whose character Lulu is obviously based on Louise Brooks’ character in “Pandora’s Box”) and Jeff Daniels.

Daniels plays Charles Driggs, a conservative businessman content with his boring life, who accepts Lulu’s offer for a ride back to his office. Of course, wacky Lulu has other plans and whisks Charles away for a wild weekend, including a trip to her high school reunion. But when they cross paths with her violent ex-con ex-husband (Ray Liotta), Charles’ life is suddenly in danger.

The pace is fast and fun, even if the third act gets serious and drags a little bit. Everything up to then is slam-bang, though, and also helping the film succeed is the hipness quotient, which includes songs by David Byrne; a score by John Cale and Laurie Anderson; and cameos by John Waters, John Sayles and the Feelies.

Best Bit:
“Sure, I’m a rebel. I just channeled my rebellion into the mainstream.”

Side Note:
The two little old ladies in the clothing store are played by the mothers of David Byrne and Jonathan Demme.

Companion Viewing:
“After Hours” (1985) and “Pandora’s Box” (1929).


Take a Look:
No trailers available online, but at least you get John Waters, being all cool and John Waters-ish:

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