Is my leg being pulled? That was my feeling for the hour or so I spent watching Putney Swope, a "satire" that seems unsure what it wants to say about its satirical object beyond selling guns is bad. The politics of the film feel unformed, and it's unclear how much of an anti-racism message there actually is. Whatever there may be is undercut by Downey doing a frankly troubling blackvoice. The commercials are occasionally funny, but little else works. Consider the aggressively hostile but aimless satirical scenes with President Mimeo. Is it really funny that the president and first lady are little persons? Is doing a Kissinger accent a really funny send-up of Kissinger? How you answer these questions will dictate how you feel about Putney Swope. For my part, I vote no.
bravo replied to DaltonMaltz's topic in The CanonAdding my amen to the NOs. The main thing that's stayed with me from this movie is the grating look-how-cute-we-are quotes from the plays liberally strewn in the dialogue. Shakespeare in Love has its charms, but is a little too slight to be canonical. It is possible, however, that it's one of the best of the writer biopic genre. It's hard to think of any that are much good. For example, I just saw the critically praised but mediocre and stilted Dickinson pic, a Quiet Passion, and I'd take SIL over that any day.