Friday, April 22, 2011

"One Delicious Serving of Comedy"

I send you into the weekend with a pitch-perfect movie comedy scene, performed by two consummate professionals who really know what they’re doing.

The scene is from Lost In America (1985). Albert Brooks who starred in, wrote and directed the movie, plays a middle-range employee who, after not receiving an expected promotion at the ad agency he works at, decides to abandon the rat race, sell all his possessions, buy a giant RV, and, with his wife (Julie Hagerty), venture forth into America to, for one thing, “touch Indians.”

While he’s asleep in the room at their first stop – Las Vegas – the wife goes down to the casino, and proceeds to lose all their money, or as Brooks calls it, the “nest egg.”

Desperate, when he discovers that the entire “nest egg” has evaporated, Brooks, dressed in a bathrobe, meets with the casino’s manager, played exquisitely by Garry Marshall, in an effort to persuade the casino to give them back their money.

Why do I love this scene? Brooks’s objective is insane – casinos do not return gambled-away money. But the scene, written and played with such deftness and sincerity, makes it possible to believe that, just this once, they actually might.

This scene embodies my favorite things in comedy – an outrageous situation played entirely straight by performers who, intuitively, “get the funny.”

I think you’ll like it.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Earl.

Ron Fairly said...

One of my all-time favorite movies. Comedic & storytelling genius!

Mac said...

Love that movie. That is such a great scene.

cjdahl60 said...

Great scene. But isn't this a repeat of last Friday's post?

Max Clarke said...

Excellent choice.

Haven't seen the movie since it was released, but I admire much about it.

The non-promotion scene was shockingly funny.

Julie Hagerty was great when we discovered she had blown the nest egg. There was this maniacal look she had which was scary. This was the star of Airplane!, but she looked like a gambling addict on overdose.

Garry Marshall was good. Didn't know how he looked back in those days. I'd see his name all over tv shows, never saw him. His performance made me wonder if the director had hired somebody from the gambling business for the scene.

wfs said...

that's what I like too. :-)