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Laramie Movie Scope:
Wayne's World

A movie that breaks all the rules

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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February 19, 1992 -- I didn't want to go see ``Wayne's World'' because I thought it was just another of those movies about a couple of stupid guys and a lot of sophomoric humor. But when Siskel and Ebert liked it and it went Number One at the box office, I felt duty bound to subject myself to it. What a shock, it is funny!

``Wayne's World'' is a very unusual film. I can't think of anything else like it. The closest thing to it would be something like ``Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure'' with some elements of Mel Brooks films like ``Blazing Saddles,'' or ``High Anxiety.''

For one thing several people in the film make a habit of staring straight into the camera and speaking to the audience, either to make a soliloquy or to narrate the film. This is seldom done.

Hockey great Stan Makita appears in the film, apparently an in joke because Makita does many commercials on television. But instead of the usual bit role he delivers a soliloquy to the camera about the meaning of life and later he talks about dark fantasies to customers in his restaurant.

There's also a policeman who should have been a proctologist and other odd, assorted characters, all of which are out of kilter. There are few stereotypical characters in the film. Nobody is who he, or she, seems to be.

At one point Makita is told by one of the stars of the film that Makita can't talk to the camera, only they can talk to the camera. This sort of shattering of Hollywood movie conventions appears throughout the film. The movie even has four separate endings, one of which makes fun of happy Hollywood endings. Don't leave before the end of the credits, because the films' stars, Mike Meyers (Wayne) and Dana Carvey (Garth) review their own film and make other comments until the very end, another convention broken.

You would probably have to see this film half a dozen times to catch all the jokes. Meyers does a good job as the star of the film. He also co-wrote the script, which is far more clever than it appears on the surface.

The film pokes fun at old songs, television shows and movies, some dating back to the 1950s, like ``Lassie.'' There's a very funny bit with ``Bohemian Rhapsody'' by Queen and numerous movie spoofs including a hilarious reference to ``Terminator II.'' It should appeal to a wide age group.

This film is loaded with laughs, everything from broad slapstick and stupid jokes to very subtle references to middle class conventions and Hollywood commercialism. This film is a lot more imaginative than one would expect.

Director Penelope Spheeris, who directed social commentary films (``The Decline of Civilization,'' ``Suburbia'') makes a much more subtle commentary here. The film is also very well edited and has a good soundtrack.

An attractive pair, Rob Lowe and Tia Carrere provide a good supporting cast as the sleazy producer and Wayne's love interest-rock singer respectively. The basic story is pretty standard. The good guys, Wayne and Garth, battle against the corrupting influence of Lowe. But the story is far less important than the strange and innovative way it is presented.

This looks like a movie that will become a cult classic and probably a huge box office hit as well. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)