Many people refuse to believe that this is a comedy. They are wrong. Just watch Angelica Huston's screamingly funny moment as she brings in her father's dinner. She is walking towards him behind his back... calm, cool, suave - and suddenly transforms herself into the pitiful, broken, submissive daughter that her father is expecting her to be. She has the hunched martyr's pose down pat - and it is brilliantly funny.
That said, the problem with Prizzi's Honor - which I enjoyed immensely by the way - is that too many things just don't gel. For one thing, Nicholson kills someone in California, and we discover (at the same time as Nicholson) that his (Nicholson's) major love interest, Kathleen Turner, is in fact married to the man he has just killed. And they continue their lives as if nothing has really happened. They continue their love affair and the body in the garage is completely forgotten. But wouldn't the police or someone have found out that he is dead? Wouldn't the police have wanted to speak to interrogate his wife? None of this happens. .. which, is, of course, nonsense.
Many people have complained that they can't believe in the characters - and I agree with them. But I am not complaining - just agreeing with their statement. I don't know if the director, John Huston, was totally up to making this film, as he was deathly sick and probably knew that it would be his last one. But I suspect that Huston decided to make Prizzi's Honor and go out in style - for that is really what this film is about - an exercise in style. Nicholson is the arch stereotype of the dumb hoodlum; Turner is the vamp of all time; the Godfather of the entire Prizzi clan couldn't be more brutal or ghoulish, especially when he is smiling - all done with a certain camp flair. And Huston's daughter Angelica plays the long-suffering "wronged woman" with proud, wicked vengefulness. These are all well-known types, yet here they come across as hysterically exaggerated stylized versions of what we have seen in other movies. Huston is too good a director to have done this by accident. He wanted to go out in style - and with Prizzi's Honor - he did so, most honorably.
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