Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Comedies - Cinema Du Meep! ""

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Favorite Underrated Comedies - Cinema Du Meep!

My pal Michael runs the outstanding Cinema Du Meep film blog. I am beyond a huge Meep fan. I almost consider it an unofficial sister blog to my own. It is a site you should visit. Michael is currently a bit more active on his fantastic Meep Facebook Page though, which should be liked by you at this very moment and followed regularly. Lots and lots of retro movie love there in the form of old ads, marquees and so forth.

It's sometimes hard to come up with a list of things you love, because you want to include every single one of them. I tend to show equal love to Movies both popular and of the obscure, so I have racked up quite a few favorites over the years. Since this list calls for underrated, I'm going to include 5 that fit that bill, but also are accessible in a way for anyone with an open heart (or mind) to enjoy. You'll just need to track them down.

Here are 5 that I truly love, and are each worth checking out. Even if they aren't on DVD or streaming on Netflix or whatever. Yes, sometimes working at getting a Movie is fun, too. Let's not forget the pursuit that comes along with your passion!

My Chauffeur
Original Theatrical Release Date: January 24, 1986
DVD: Yes (part of the "Too Cool For School Edition" found here on Amazon)
Also available on Netflix Streaming.

My Chauffeur was a sure-fire favorite growing up. It was a go-to Movie for me and my Sister. Lots of laughs, fun, albeit cheesy 80's Music, and Deborah Foreman in a Screwball Comedy performance right on par with greats like Katherine Hepburn and Carole Lombard. Besides, what other Movie has a punk-pop singer who accosts elderly ladies brandishing brass knuckles merely for their panties, Flash Gordon getting drunk, naked and stealing a baby as well as have a lot of heart?

The First Time
Original Theatrical Release Date: July 13, 1983

The First Time is the story of a guy trying to get laid, no big whoop in the early 80's Porky's-era, but it does have oodles of charm and quirkiness that a lot of those types of Movies didn't have. Plus it was also Filmed at Sarah Lawrence College in New York with Brian De Palma (!) serving as a consultant as it was his Alma Matter and he taught Film there as well (Director Charlie Loventhal worked with De Palma on Homes Movies from 1980 which was also made with the help of students at Sarah Lawrence) As a bonus, there are a lot of fun scenes in Film Class with Wallace Shawn as one really pretentious Film Professor!

Ed's Next Move
Original Theatrical Release Date: January 21, 1996

Ed's another charmer. It's funny how Matt Ross has become rather villainous in things over the years (most recently HBO's Big Love - What a super creep!) but here he plays a small town boy trying to adapt to the big city, bad apartments, annoying roommates and meeting a cute girl who's perhaps way too New York for him. Independent Films like Ed's Next Move are almost non-existent these days. Seems like every Movie has to be over-the-top rather than play it low-key. I miss low-key.

Scenes From The Class Struggle In Beverly Hills
Original Theatrical Release Date: June 3, 1989
DVD: No, but there is a region 2 Widescreen DVD from Italy under the title "Scene Di Lotta Di Classe A Beverly Hills" Amazon currently has a copy.

Paul Bartel's last major Film as a Director. And my favorite of his. This is satire at it's best. And what a great cast (Wallace Shawn again!) I can watch this one over and over. And have!

Original Theatrical Release Date: August 15, 1980

Director Paul Mazursky has made quite a few Films over the years, but it seems like Willie & Phil is one of his that's been largely forgotten. Wonderful take on Francois Truffaut's Jules & Jim, set in New York City with Margot Kidder perfectly cast as the object of desire for both title characters. All three leads are great and Mazursky's Writing is sharp and Direction relaxed. It's a movie I sometimes get lost in. And so should you.


Ned Merrill said...

I dug THE FIRST TIME when I viewed the old VHS in the mid-'90s at an excellent video store in Montclair that I really miss. Haven't seen it since. WILLIE AND PHIL is another underrated one from the perpetually underrated Mazursky. Also features the Bleecker St. Cinema in a prominent scene where the main characters meet at a screening of JULES ET JIM. Good call on ED'S being one of those types of indies unique to the '90s indie heyday...the kind of thing I would have seen at the Angelika or Cinema Village.

Cinema Du Meep said...