30 August 2003 | ajm-8
The title's funny -- the movie ain't
Spoofing the "That's Entertainment" genre of films seemed like a good idea on paper, but this movie doesn't deliver on any level. A seriously unhealthy James Coco (he died just after filming, but before the movie was released) plays the head of a Z-level movie studio who rips off other hit movies. His motto is: "An idea that's appealing is an idea worth stealing." Doubled over with laughter yet?
The first half of the film has scenes from Coco's movies, basically public-domain stock footage with profanity dubbed in, and testimonials from puzzled stars including Richard Lewis, Joe Franklin and Peter Riegert. I was surprised to see that Tony Randall played the narrator; given his reputation in showbiz as Mr. Good Taste, I wonder how he explained the scene involving the dancing penis to his small children.
The second half shifts gears, as we see Coco's affair with Anne Meara (she appears with Jerry Stiller and, in an early screen credit, son Ben). There's an allusion to a "We Are the World"-type benefit to save Coco's studio, but we never see it.
"That's Adequate!" feels like a movie produced for a private occasion like a Hollywood executive's roast or stag party, with the pointless cameos and aren't-WE-naughty gags. There's really no need for anybody not related to the director to see this.