Directed By: Alan Metter
Written By: Andy Breckman
Cinematography: Donald McAlpine
Editor: Alan Balsam
Cast: Richard Pryor, Beverly Todd, Randy Quaid, Dana Carvey, Stacey Dash, Traci Lind, Morris Day, Gordon Jump, Dave Thomas, Lynn Marie Stewart, Alan Oppenheimer, King Kong Bundy, Leslie Jordan
Arlo accepts what seems to him to be a dream promotion to Idaho. He soon discovers, however, that moving has its own share of problems. The film is more of a situational comedy than a movie. As it just seems like every new scene there is a ridiculous adventure the film gets distracted with and an equal ridiculous solution to it.
As most of the movie seems it consists of scenes that seem more like ideas thought of on the spot and somehow edited together into a story. Richard Pryor is at the center of it all but the crazy characters and situations are what is fully in display as he is the straight man really until the end. Where he acts out his kung-fu fantasy of standing up for himself.
As we know he was suffering from MS while working in the movie. So we can tell he is not his normal self. As usually can at least depend on him for some kind of physical reaction. Here you can tell something is off as he looks sickly and stiff. So much so that it is shocking and painful to watch. As you can tell he is more in it for the money and this wouldn’t probably be made if not for his involvement. This proved to be his last solo starring movie.
The movie and material is not only dated. It seems like it was weak when originally made.
It’s also a shame as a missed opportunity as at the time he was one of the few bankable African American movie stars and unfortunately this and other subpar movies were what was offered and accepted by him At the time.
Even worse is that this is a movie that can easily star anyone. As the lead role as written has no character. So that it is an empty vessel who finally reacts. As this movie and it’s lead actor deserve something that is more written for them and around them. In which we can see their style or comedic instincts. This film seems to be written totally agaisnst Pryor’s more natural ones
This is one of his worst movies close to his worst for me which is BREWSTER’S MILLIONS which is not so much bad as unfunny to me.
It can be seen also as a movie about an older African American father trying to fit in, into the mostly Caucasian yuppie business world. As well as the suburbs and getting taken advantage of at every step. Even to a degree by his kids though that might be expected and as the pressure builds the only time he finds peace and happiness is when he stops making concessions and stands up for himself. Which is also when he finally gets the respect that has been dwindling ever since the film started. As he constantly is disrespected the film doesn’t show it or make it as a race thing More a confidence and assertiveness one but it can easily be implied.
This movie is just square and while it tries to be offbeat and fun even the only cast member who seems to be having any fun RANDY QUAID as his obnoxious bullying neighbor. Seems a little like he is just tweaking his character of COUSIN Eddie from the national lampoon vacation movies. Here making the character less loveable and more demonic