Different but funny.
Douglas McGrath leads an all star cast in this film.
The film is set in the early 60's. McGrath plays Alan Quimp, a grammar
school teacher who makes up that he is in the CIA so that his wife will
stop hassling him about getting another job. He then ends up helping a
Russian ballet dancer defect from the Soviet Union and then is sent to
Cuba to find "Agent X" who the CIA have been looking for for over 2
years. The story goes on from there when Agent X is found.
This is a quirky, constant, light hearted film with some funny bits. I
loved the fact that it has an all star cast. Woody Allen is very funny.
Best to watch a second time to appreciate it more. It might not be
everyone's cup of tea but I personally enjoyed it.
Quirky farce about misadventures of a CIA man...
Set in the 1960s, this little-known independent film was in limited
release so that the majority of movie fans have probably never heard of
it. DOUGLAS McGRATH is a CIA man who recounts tales of his
misadventures to a couple of senators. The cast is sprinkled with some
famous names: SIGOURNEY WEAVER, RYAN PHILLIPPE and JOHN TURTURRO among
them, with a brief glimpse of WOODY ALLEN.
All of the plot involves the attempt at overthrowing Fidel Castro
during the period of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. All of
the cast gets into the farcical nature of their roles, but none better
than ALAN CUMMING as Gen. Batista, wackily funny in a role that has him
ending up playing piano in a Florida nightclub singing "Diamonds Are A
Boy's Best Friend." He makes the most of lines such as: "My great
passion was the piano. Mamacita told me I must have something to fall
back on, so I became a dictator." Sigourney Weaver has her share of
memorable punch lines too and plays the role of McGrath's social
climbing wife without ever becoming a caricature. She's obviously more
skillful at farce than Ryan Phillippe as Petrov, the Russian dancer,
who assumes a heavy accent but doesn't seem to know he's in a comedy.
ANTHONY LaPAGLIA is effective as Fidel Castro and, in a smaller role,
TUCK MILLIGAN does a nice job of impersonating President Kennedy.
It's clever stuff and there's plenty to chuckle at, but I never found
it downright hilarious as some others have commented.
While I found John Turturro's performance a bit excessive as the
maniacal anti-Castro activist, he seems to be relishing the chance at a
comical role that requires a lot of energy to play. Only trouble is it
seems a bit forced at times.
Summing up: Wacky light-weight farce is funny enough in places, but
there's nothing memorable here. And what's with WOODY ALLEN in an
uncredited supporting role? As usual, he plays his nerdy self..