Some thoughts on “Pennies” and missed screenings

I missed the Machine Girl screening, because I’m stuck in Crockett waiting for a key to show up before I can hit the road to Austin. Crockett mail is notoriously slow, so I had my reservations that it would get here today, despite being sent on Thursday from South Texas.

In addition to Sole Suvivor (which I couldn’t finish), I also had the 1981 Steve Martin musical Pennies from Heaven sitting here from Netflix. The film was a big flop for MGM back then, and, today, still feels experimental. It’s a depression era drama about a music salesman (Steve Martin) who carries on an illicit tryst with a prostitute (Bernadette Peters). The characters break out into lip-synched numbers from period music when it relates to the plot, and often fantasize and dance in large-scale production numbers. When the movie started, I was, like, “WOW”, but that wore off pretty quickly, due to a thin story. Jessica Harper is the only one to bring real emotion to the film, as Martin’s frigid, but loving wife.

About the film, Martin said “I’m disappointed that it didn’t open as a blockbuster and I don’t know what to blame, other than it’s me and not a comedy. I must say that the people who get the movie, in general, have been wise and intelligent; the people who don’t get it are ignorant scum.” Well, I get it, but it doesn’t mean I love it. MGM lays the blame on the fact that this was Martin’s follow-up to The Jerk, and while there may be partial truth in that, the film is way too long and way too odd for most audiences.

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3 Comments

  1. If you get it, but dislike it does that make wise and intelligent scum?
    I skipped the screening for Machine Girl. When I heard you weren’t gonna make it, it just didn’t seem like it would be the same. I need you John. I can’t enjoy insane Asian cinema without you by my side sharing a milkshake.
    Oddball American comedy is another story, so if you can’t make it for FOOT FIST WAY then who needs you?

  2. Who needs me?

    My mommy.

  3. So, in the instance that the mail is horribly slow (knock on wood) what are you gonna do if the key just doesn’t arrive? You gonna need a place to stay for a few days? I can talk to the lady friend if you need.


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