Friday, May 23, 2003

The new "In-Laws" movie sucks, says the Times reviewer, which is as I suspected. But the 1979 original -- which the underrated Andrew Bergman directed from his own script, and which stars Peter Falk and Alan Arkin -- is a lot funnier than Scott allows. Hell, I think it's one of the funniest movies ever made, with near-perfect chemistry between the leads. Arkin plays a very anal, very uptight dentist whose daughter is marrying the son of Falk, a former CIA agent who appears to be completely nuts. In a hilariously awkward dinner scene near the beginning, when the two families meet for the first time, Falk fondly recalls his episodes in the African "bush," namely the heartbreaking sight of giant tsetse flies carrying away native children, despite the desperate effort of parents to chase them away with brooms. Not only that, he points out, these flies are protected by the government, under something called the Guacamole Act of 1917. The "red tape in the bush," he explains, is awful.

Ok, it's a lot funnier to watch than to read about, but do watch it.

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