The Front Row View: A Fish Called Wanda

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man. 


My good friend Kevin Logan inspired today’s post—Charles Crichton’s 1988 comic smash A Fish Called Wanda. Part Monty Pythonesque farce (courtesy of co-writer-star John Cleese and star Michael Palin) and part 1950s Ealing comedy (courtesy of Crichton, who directed a few of them ), the movie whips by with funny lines and outrageous characterizations. Jamie Lee Curtis is deft and sexy as the duplicitous jewel thief, Michael Palin is enjoyable and somewhat poignant as the stuttering thief with a soft spot for small animals (Palin took some heat from pressure groups for the politically incorrect stuttering), Cleese slides along through his script like an expert farceur as the too-proper barrister and, best of all, Kevin Kline turns in an Oscar-winning screwball performance for the ages as the dim-witted thief. I can’t help but smile every time he’s on screen. Take a look at this one the next time that you’re in a cranky mood. It’s good medicine.


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