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April 14, 1987 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-14

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 14, 1987
Seideman's latest is made just 'Right'

By Seth Flicker
Susan Seidelman is hip. Take
for instance her sleeper-of-the-year
Desperately Seeking Susan , a story
about amnesia, sexual frustration,
feminist liberation and a pair of
earrings. The plot is so wacked-out
that it could of easily been made to
go over the viewers' heads. It
doesn't, though. With careful script
decision, casting and directing, she
took a potentially dangerous bridge
and made it into a sturdy overpass,
but, at the same time, made the
audience feel that they just crossed
over a dangerous bridge.
In other words, Seidelman has
the unique ability to make her
audience feel as hip as the characters
in them; to feel good, not stupid.
Her third (the first being
Smithereens) and latest feature

venture, Making Mr. Right is no
exception. It basically has the same
themes of Desperately Seeking
Susan (sexual frustration and the
search for feminist liberation) but
the packaging is somewhat
different.
The story revolves around
Frankie Stone (Ann Magnuson), an
image consultant who is hired to
transform Ulysses (John
Malkovich), an android created for
the purpose of being shipped off
into space for seven years, into a
pop-cult figure. To do this, Frankie
has to "humanize" Ulysses.
Unfortunately Ulysses falls in love
with Frankie and, eventually, visa-
versa. This is just where the
complications start, though.
Ulysses, the brain-child of
scientific genius Dr. Jeff Peters
(Malkovich as well), was created

"superior" to humans. For Ulysses
to survive in space for seven years,
he must be completely void of
human emotions but this obviously
backfires. Thus, Ulysses is caught
in the middle ground of two trains
of thought: Jeff's and Frankie's. He
is a blank slate and both Frankie
and Jeff are trying to fill it with
their own ideals and beliefs. They
are both trying to make the "ideal
man."
Jeff's ideal man is himself: cold,
calculating and predictable. He
believes that emotions are the
pitfalls of life and get in the way of
carrying on a productive existance.
He attempts to inscribe these
beliefs into Ulysses but ends up
being foiled by Frankie, who,
without realizing it, inscribes in
Ulysses her own set of rules.
Frankie is neck high in
emotional drama. Her purple-haired.
sister (Susan Berman) is getting
married to a bus boy, her best friend
Trish (Gleanne Headly) just ran
away from her actor-husband, and
Frankie, herself, is getting over a
relationship with congress -
man/client Steve Marcus (Ben
Masters). Through these vignettes
in her life she has also determined
what the ideal man should be and
now has the ability to create him
with Ulysses.
It's not the plot that makes this
movie work. It's the characters and
the actors that play them.
Screenwriters Floyd Byars and
Laurie Frank give the actors some
very good material to work with.
The supporting cast to Magnusan
and Malkovich provide a menagerie
of wackiness that without, this
movie would not exist.
To top off the list is Sandy,
played by Laurie Medcalf, a lab
technician madly in search of a
relationship with Jeff. Though all
attempts fail with Jeff, Sandy
succeeds in providing for the more
hilarious scenes of this film. She is
loud and tacky. She wears

"designer" dresses, shops at "the
mall" and seems to pride herself on
being an incurable romantic until
she ultimately gets fed up. Medcalf
fits the role like a glove.
Headly is great as Trish, the
ditzy-nypho of the film. In her
attempts at getting over her
husband, she provides Ulysses with
his first sexual experience. Among
the other memorable characters in
this messed-up menagerie are
Masters as the egotistical
congressman/boyfriend whose
campaign slogan is, "It takes a man
this sensitive to know your needs,"
Polly Bergan as Frankie's loud-
mouth mom, and Harsh Nayyar as
Dr. Ramdas, head of Chemtech (the
company that made Ulysses) and
"admirer" of Frankie.
To top off the cast is Magnuson
and Malkovich. It is surprising that
Magnuson's largest movie role to
date is playing the cigarette girl in
Desperately Seeking Susan. She
plays the role of Frankie with both
biting sarcasm and subtle pathos.
Magnuson has the type of looks
and mannerisms that seem to glow
on screen. She masters a control
and understanding of her character
that hopefully will open up more
doors for her.
Malkovich (Eleni, Places in the
Heart) makes his comedy debut
with this movie. It is not an easy
feat playing two such contrasting
roles in one picture: the cold Jeff
and the warm, sensitive Ulysses.
Malkovich does it though and does
it convincingly.
Overall, Making Mr. Right is
one funny movie, but don't expect
an Academy Award winner or a
cornerstone in filmmaking. If you
can go into this movie with just
the intention of laughing, then you
will. There are a lot of films and
filmmakers out there that can
preach morality, but there's only a
handful, such as Seidelman, that
can make you sit back and just
laugh.

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Ann Magnuson plays Frankie, an image consultant hired to "humanize"
Ulysses.

'Parts' depicts female relationships
(Continued from Page 7)

A

John Malkovick in one of his two very different roles.

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unheard interlocutor. She begins as
the dutiful scatterbrained wife and
ends as the feminist avenger,
shooting a Peeping Tom, pushing
her lewd, wheel-chair-bound
brother-in-law down the stairs, and
exhausting our patience without
enlightening or entertaining us.
Boyette does as well as anyone
could with these skits, by Franca
Rame and Dario Fo, a husband-and-
wife team from Italy who are very
"in" just now. They will not be,
though, once a little age is added to
their work, which depend on a
trendy theme, rather than memor -
able story lines or charaq terizations,

for their appeal. This fold-up
production is the first by the
Michigan Orbit Theatre, a travel -
ling company, and is meant to
showcase the theatre department's
homegrown talent throughout the
state. One wonders what audiences
will make of it in the outback.
Shows are at 8 p.m., Thursday
through Saturday, and 2 p.m.,

Sunday, April 16-19, at the
Trueblood Theatre, in the Frieze
Building. Tickets are $9, $3 for

Michigan Daily Classifieds
764-0557

students with I.D., available at the
door, or in advance at the Michigan
League.

This

is it! What you've

all been

waiting

for!

The Summer Daily Arts Page
Mass Meeting
Thursday, April 16th 6:30
It's more than a job. It's Art.

E
E

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MAKE IT THROUGH EXAMS
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" Salad Bar
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The Universityof Michigan
'ieof
Ffianclal
Aid

FALL & WINTER 1987-88
APPLICATION DEADLINE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 1987

2011 Student Activities Building
To ensure priority consideration for financial aid* for the coming school year, continuing students
must submit complete application materials by the priority deadline. A complete application con-
sists of a 1987-88 Office of Financial Aid application form, the Family Financial Statement report
(from ACT), student and parental copies of the 1986 Federal income tax returns, and other docu-

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