|Click For Trailer|
Easy Money (1983 James Signorelli)
Starring: Rodney Dangerfield, Joe Pesci, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey Jones, Fiddle Viracola, Filomena Spagnuolo.
Box Markings: No respect.
Tagline: ‘I was happy being a big, fat slob, but for $10 million… I’ll give up everything!’
Trailers: Remo Williams: Unarmed and Dangerous, Delta Force, Defence of the Realm
Cherrypick: “I didn’t want to see her fucking face!”
There is, of course, a bold irony to the title of this 1983 laugh-massacre in which bug-eyed, fast-talking quipster Rodney Dangerfield proves to the world that he truly was one of a kind in the same way that there was nobody quite like Mussolini. The stillborn conception of his first starring role seems to have been purely to sate a world chomping at the bit for some Danger-vs-Mother-in-Law battle of the titans, and with his Hawaiian shirt and quasi-disfigured face in tow (the result of a 1978 nerve gas attack by a heckler who wasn’t impressed by the “Have you seen my new dinghy?” quip he opened with), Dangerfield duly turns in a performance only a mother (in law?) could love.
|Rodney clocks Pesci's pomade allowance|
Underpinning all of this baloney is a story* concerning Monty’s my-heart-belongs-to-daddy daughter who unwittingly marries a Latino rapist (‘The Tex-Mex Hex’) whose idea of a honeymoon is whisking his bride off to hotel with all the charm of a garbage barge and jumping her ignorant bones with a ‘Joy of Sex’ manual wedged between his teeth. All this to gain the dubious pleasure of repeatedly asking Dangerfield if he can “call him Dad?”
|The Magnificent Spangles|
Well, they somehow get their fuck-you money, buy a boat and, with Rooney left to choke on his provolone canapés, they triumphantly sail down to the Scumbag Riviera of Coney Island, where, in a symphonic coda of visual shorthand, the Dangerman is last seen reclining (head of the fuckin’ table, natch) in a shirt with twenties printed all over it while a nubile Geisha delivers him a Bud Light served in a chocolate log – and to whom he diarrheas over 2000 years of tradition by asking her to ‘come back when she’s had some sun’.
“My mother-in-law!” he at length reflects to camera. “For years I wouldn't kiss her face; I end up kissing her ass!”
It’s a telling closing gambit, one that leaves the viewer to question who, if anyone, actually won the war? Or, in fact, if there ever really was a war there to be won…