My Best Friend's Birthday (1987)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy

My Best Friend's Birthday (1987) Poster

It's Mickey's Birthday and his girlfriend just left him, so that's when his friend Clarence shows him a birthday he'll never forget.


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4 September 2019 | grantss
| Rough and incomplete but Tarantino #0.5 gives glimpses of what was to come
Clarence Pool, a radio DJ, is planning a birthday party for his best friend, Mickey Burnett. However, his great intentions and best efforts don't always work out as planned.

Written and directed by and starring Quentin Tarantino, this should have been his first film. However, the second and final reel of the film was lost in a fire and the complete version was hardly ever viewed. What remains is and incomplete movie of about 36 minutes (technically making it a short).

Hence it not been counted among Tarantino's movies (plus, wouldn't you rather say that Reservoir Dogs was your debut film?).

What remains isn't bad, though isn't great either. The first thing that strikes you is that it is a comedy. Tarantino's dramas always have an element of comedy about them, due to the clever, stylised dialogue but this is a pure comedy, not an action-drama with comedic elements. Moreover, it works, mostly. Tarantino takes the clever dialogue and moves it from entertaining filler to centre stage. Add in some physical gags and you realise that Tarantino may have a gift for comedy (though I'm glad he ended choosing a different cinematic path).

There's also a stoner-slacker aspect to the whole thing which reminds me of Clerks. Tarantino could have been Kevin Smith before Kevin Smith was Kevin Smith!

(This said, I have no idea what path the second half of the movie took, so it could have ended more like the Tarantino we know and love).

In addition to the clever dialogue, there's another Tarantino trademark: long discussions about movies or music. Always entertaining, and edifying.

As mentioned, not great though. The plot is a bit disjointed. Tarantino was clearly still learning his art as a director and editor: the scenes are quite choppy. The whole movie has an overly rough-around-the-edges feel to it.

Also, difficult to rate a movie highly when you're only able to see half of it!

You can, however, see glimpses of what was to come. As mentioned, the sharp dialogue is there. In addition, some of the plot details remind me of True Romance.

Just wish that the whole movie had survived. But then Tarantino would have already made 10 movies and, due to his self-imposed quota, would now be in retirement, so maybe it was for the best!

Needless to say, due to the movie being in this state it is in, this is really only for Tarantino fans, to see where it all began and complete the collection.

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$5,000 (estimated)

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