Skin Deep starts off to a soulful, bluesy song called "falling out of love" (lyrically quite fitting for the main character), and we see a woman walking into a house. The house belongs to Zach Hutton, and the woman, we assume, is Zach's wife. She catches him fooling around with a young blonde and grabs Zach's revolver. The scene that follows is hilarious; the music has stopped and we're thrust into a tense but funny moment. As it turns out, this woman is not Zach's wife, but his mistress, and she is ready to kill him until his wife walks in. They introduce themselves and share their disappointment in Zach. At this point, I needed to take a very deep breath to brace myself, because it was very obvious that this guy has issues and this movie was going to be full of hilariously painful situations for our hero. It was no big surprise that within the next few scenes he's sobbing in a psychiatrist's office.
This is a comedy that has an exaggerated sense of being true to life. It is somewhat serious, Zach is a tortured soul, but he's mostly casually tortured and takes his abuse with humour, which makes it okay for us to laugh. He's a washed up writer, his wife has left him with a settlement that was not exactly fair to his side, and he can't get over his obsession with picking up women. He's addicted. This is one pathetic man. He endures some of the most hilarious situations ever committed to film (I won't even bother mentioning the glow-in-the-ark condom sequence, but yes, it is hysterical). He also endures genuine sadness in his life, and that makes him more human than just a simple comic sketch, and makes this such a great movie.
The ending wraps things up a little too easily, but what the hell? Comedies usually have happy endings. The ending was satisfactory, but the movie in general was above average. John Ritter was a master at perfecting both drama and comedy, which is what was needed for this role. He did an amazing job, and I feel it's his finest performance, displaying his genuine charm as a comedic actor, as well as the possibly even more intriguing serious side of a conflicted, lost man. I love this movie.
My rating: 10/10
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