The Tale of the Tape:
Louis Winthorpe III and Billy Ray Valentine vs. Mortimer and Randolph Duke
Having lived a privileged life, Louis, more commonly referred to as Winthorpe by the Duke brothers, has not encountered much adversity and runs the commodities firm for the Dukes. After Billy, a con man from the streets played by Eddie Murphy, knocks over Winthorpe, Dan Aykroyd, and goes to hand back Louis’ briefcase, he freaks out saying he is being mugged and calls for the police, a harmless action misinterpreted.
Billy runs around with the briefcase through the ritzy restaurant where the Duke brothers see him being arrested and come up with a wager: Billy can run the company just as well as Winthorpe
Billy tries to act all hard for the guys who are harassing him by stating he is a black belt and he is just waiting for his ladies to bail him out of jail.
The Duke brothers pay for Billy’s release and tell them of their intensions and setup Winthorpe to be arrested! BUM BUM BUM!
This starts his downward spiral to get back Billy after hitting rock bottom
Billy and Winthorpe devise a plan that makes them rich while bankrupting the Duke brothers and insert a HILARIOUS train sequence that involves interspecies relationships with a gorilla and boom! You got yourself a comedy, “Right BILLY RAY?!”
“Oh see, I made Louis a bet here. Louis bet me we both couldn’t get rich and put y’all in the poor house at the same time, he didn’t think we could do it. I won.”
“I lost… ONE dollar!”
“Thank you Louis.”
Wanda is a fish. Also, a women. Who happens to be a bank robbing con artist. Who happens to be Jamie Lee Curtis. And the movie is called A Fish Called Wanda. And it is an amazing ride. Just look at this trailer:
A Fish Called Wanda Trailer
I mean, what’s not to like? It’s British, written by John Cleese, and is filled with crime syndicate espionage. Every single person in the film is out to get the other, and it creates the perfect backdrop for a comedy.
John Cleese, of course, was one of the members of Monty Python, and such, the movie features the absurdist take on humanity of such films as Like According to Brian and Search for the Holy Grail. While at first it seems that he seemingly wrote himself out of a major part (he is the mark, afterall), it becomes apparent in the later part of the film that he may be the most important character in the film (not the protagonist, that’s Jamie Lee). We even get to see more of John Cleese than we ever wanted to.
But barring Cleese’s nudity, the film tastefully discusses the sexually adulterous Wanda…by which I mean, constantly pointing out that she is little more than a prostitute. But it does it with a laugh and a wink, and you still find yourself cheering for her as the she is pulled deeper into the treacherous plot. And the character depth is simply fantastic…this is a romantic comedy that gets both perfect. You actually see Curtis fall in love with (I’m not going to spoil it, go watch the movie). But it’s earned, which is so rare in romantic comedies.
Trust me, this film is completely worth the time to watch it. It will keep you laughing the entire way, even while characters die off left and right. Just remember…leave the tartar sauce at home.