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January 21, 1992 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-21

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, January 21, 1992

Fluff is stuff of Martin



A less sophisticated remake of Minnelli's classic
has tightwad Steve Martin acting grimacingly cute.

Father of the Bride
dir. Charles Shyer


After a gratuitous cameo in Star Trek VI, cute little Christian Slater is back to annoy us again, along with M
Jovovich, "a sixteen year old flawless beauty." Together, they do bad parodies of several films in Kuffs.

Slater is no Fer
dir. Bruce A. Evans
by Sarah Weidman
Bad is not an appropriate word to describe Kuffs, the
new Christian Slater film. Predictable, boring, un-
eventful and outright lame serve the purpose much bet-
Slater plays George Kuffs, a 21-year-old high school
dropout thrown into the San Francisco Patrol Special
when his older brother Brad (Bruce Boxleitner) is
murdered. Brad patrols a district he owns and, upon his
death, he leaves it to his immature, irresponsible little
brother. Unsurprisingly, Kuffs vows to avenge his
brother's death. The movie then begins its monotonous
and irritating course.
The film abounds with cheesy incidents, too many
to mention. The opening scene is a privileged view into
the life of Kuffs and his girlfriend Maya (Milla
Jovovich), as they dance around his apartment to "The
Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades," wearing only
sunglasses and underwear. It's a sadly ineffective ef-
fort to recreate the well-known Risky Business scene.
Kuffs' way-too-cool and full-of-attitude addresses

rls, but he tries
to the camera are distracting, unnecessary and all too
frequent. He has a habit of turning to the audience with
his head cocked oh-so-slightly to show off a bad-boy
expression and mutter in that famous Slater drawl his
shallow and contrived reflections. Unlike Ferris
Bueller's endearing speeches delivered directly to us,
Slater's monologues serve only to further inflate his
self-absorbed persona.
All of the actors are unsuccessful in pulling off be-
lievable relationships. The only working interaction in
this movie is the one between Kuffs and Thunder, the
police dog. The blame can't all fall on the actors,
though - many of the problems in the movie stem
from the writers' (Bruce A. Evans and Raynold
Gideon) unsuccessful attempts to be humorous. If the
script had a bit more wit and creativity, the actors may
have been able to pull it off.
This isn't to say that no one will enjoy Kuffs. The
four 12-year-old girls (obviously Slater fans, judging
by their oohs and ahhs) who were in the theater with
me laughed at various points in the film. But apart
from the engaging location shots of San Francisco,
Kuffs has little to offer beyond a slow plot and inade-
quate performances.
KUFFS is playing at Fox Village and Showcase.

by Jen Bilik
Father of the Bride is one of those
movies we always wish were more
plentiful at the video store - a
movie that is fluffy, funny and es-
capist without taxing the couch-
ridden brain unnecessarily.
No one will try to argue Bride 's
way into a pantheon, but the film is
amusing and lighthearted nonethe-
less, a world in which people are
beautiful (but not too beautiful)
and happy (but with enough prob-
lems to propel the plot). And it
goes great with popcorn.
A remake of Vincent Minnelli's
1950 film starring Spencer Tracy
and Elizabeth Taylor, Father of the
Bride stars Steve Martin in the
reprise of Tracy's paternal role and
newcomer Kimberly Williams as
his daughter, Annie.
As George Banks, Martin is
funny as usual, but because his per-
formance is always geared toward
making a joke, his part lacks depth.
Williams steals the show here; she
is positively delightful, if some-
what self-consciously so.
The movie opens as Annie comes
home from a semester abroad, about
to drop a bomb. She's met the man
she will marry to the tune of a
fifty-thousand dollar wedding.
Oedipal crisis in motion, the rest
of the movie chronicles daddy
George's resistance to the fact that
little Annie no longer holds him at
the center of her universe. He's got
an easy scapegoat by which to vent
his fatherly angst, however: for
some reason, he balks at the idea of
spending what could buy a Mid-
western house on Annie's wedding.
He milks his sex-sublimated-into-


money resistance for all it's worth.
As the wheels are set in motion
for Annie's final break from the
ideal family unit (dad manufactures
athletic shoes in a tres chic factory,
drives an old British sports car, all
live in a cute California community
where everybody's white and things
never change), numerous vignettes,
both humorous and poignant, pre-
sent themselves for Martin's ex-
Father of the Bride isn't, how-
ever, plagued by Martin's usual
problem: a contrived and incoherent
plot held together by the requisite
jokes that showcase his comic
prowess. The film is continuous and
fluid, in part due to the unusually
muted demands of Martin's role.
This character fits into the world of
Parenthood rather than The Jerk.
Diane Keaton appears as an en-
dearing and perfect mom, excited
about Annie's announcement as
George is repulsed. She understands
that a wedding must be "the happi-
est day of a girl's life" and there-
fore cost twice the annual salary of
the average autoworker.

One of the Culkin clan comes in
as Annie's brother, a cute bundle of
reactions for Annie's straight-faced
love antics. And Martin Short
reprises his seen-before foreign ho-
mosexual role as the "wedding
planner" whose accented dialogue
can be understood by everybody but
Dad. As usual, Short is hilarious,
but a bit overdone in a questionable
One can guess most of the
nuptial situations which the movie
will lampoon: meeting the in-laws,
directing the parking attendants,
etc., but they're done in comic
earnest and they convince.
Father of the Bride is filled with
moments both funny and heart-
warming. Even if the film is totally
fluffy, it's the kind of fluff that a
bad mood and lots of snow demands.
It hearkens back to '40s comedies
(but with much less sophistication)
when beautiful, good people and
happy endings were par for the
at Showcase and Ann Arbor 1 & 2.

Franc (Martin Short) persuades the reluctant George Banks (Steve
Martin) to sell one of his kidneys so Annie can afford a decent DJ at her

Career Conference
Explore career opportunities
with over 80 major employers and graduate schools
Tuesday, January 21 Pre-Conference
Open Session Workshops
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm information and tips on making the most of
Informal discussions with your conference experience
employers and graduate
school representatives
Arrange interviews with
recruiters for Wednesday,
January 22
Michigan Union Sneak Pr :::>;
Barrier Free -. . ".: ;
r details or special assistance, contact: Th University of Michigan
Career Planning & Placement
320 Student Activities BuildingCaerPnn Pc
764- 7460^- -



L _- _ I l

r r4
North Campus Commons
Dining Room
Jan. 23
Featuring Jazz Ensembles
from the Jazz Studies Feb.6
Program, Ed Sarath
director 13


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