27 October 2001 | andy stew
Bill Murray in one of the funniest comedy scenes ever
I enjoyed this film a great deal. There were many hilarious gags and some clever satirical sideswipes, and the main performers were excellent. Woody Harrelson and Randy Quaid made a superb team, and both were quite moving at times.
However, I must mention the extraordinary comic genius of Bill Murray here, as in this film he provided me with what must be one of the funniest scenes in the history of movies -- a very simple gag that was really bound to happen, yet I wasn't expecting it. It is the climactic scene where he and Harrelson are the finalists in the tournament, and twice involves his comb-over ...
I can't go any further. I'm laughing so much. My sister and I missed the rest of the film as we bust our guts in absolute hysterics as Murray performed little victory dances (one involving his shoulder-blades almost killed me) while totally oblivious to the state that his hair was in ...
I don't want to spoil it for you. Just rent out the film, watch it with a friend, forget that I mentioned this scene, and when it happens it will catch you unawares and you will hopefully laugh yourself silly.
Ernie McCracken really was the biggest loser in the film, as he thought he was cool and suave, yet he had a terrible hairstyle (two, actually) and was a disgusting, selfish and unfeeling pervert. He plays a big role in the plot, but Murray's outstanding performance makes him so self-absorbed and bereft of any real humanity that he is almost completely separate from the movie -- there really is no point in him being there, apart from to provide us with enormous laughs and upstage everyone else and all the important things in the film. He just exists for himself and his own satisfaction, and everything about him is insincere.
When you watch it you will know what I mean when I say that he really seems to be one of the most unimportant important characters I've seen. Murray really is in a league of his own when it comes to cynicism and wry, dry and ironic humour; his gift is his ability to allow his casual arrogance to remove all pomposity and sentimentality, and mock everything that's important, so you can't do anything but laugh.
When he re-entered the film, I really couldn't care less what the outcome was going to be. I just laughed as he signed an autograph for a beautiful female fan and whispered to her what room he was staying in; and as he jokingly apologised for the appalling damage he had inflicted on Roy Munson (Harrelson), which had completely ruined his life 17 years earlier, and then selfishly began to make light of the matter, before avoiding a few punches from Ishmael (Quaid) and running off quickly while telling Claudia (Vanessa Angel) what room he was staying in.
And all the while, he has a hairstyle that is worse than Munson's and Ishmael's put together.
Man, that's some good tasting comedy.