Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Man with One Red Shoe

For the week leading up to Valentine's Day I went scavenged through RazorFine's database and collected a few Valentine's Week posts and reviews for the week. Here's my review for The Man with One Red Shoe.

I have a confession to make; my favorite Tom Hanks movie isn’t Forrest Gump, Big, Philadelphia, Apollo 13, The Terminal, Splash, or Sleepless in Seattle.  My favorite Hanks film is 1985’s The Man with One Red Shoe.  Now, I'd never argue it's his best movie, but for my money its sheer enjoyment value is off the charts. A great farce, fun suspense, Jim Belushi losing his mind, Carrie Fisher in a leopard print bikini, and an off-beat love story make this a great addition to anyone’s DVD collection.

Richard Drew (Tom Hanks) is a concert violinist who is sleeping with his best friend Morris’s (Jim Belushi) wife Paula (Carrie Fisher).  Richard leads a boring life of concerts and violin lessons. 

That’s all about to change as CIA director Ross (Charles Durning) sets up a trap to catch the illegal operations of a competing CIA boss Cooper (Dabney Coleman).  Ross plants a fake story about having a witness to Cooper’s activities and sends his top man Brown (Edward Herrmann) to pick a man at random realizing that Cooper will take a run at him and then they will have him.

At the airport Brown chooses Richard Drew simply because he is wearing two different shoes, including one red one.  Cooper’s minions go into full gear bugging Richard’s apartment and taking it apart to search for this evidence he has.  Leading the group is Maddy (Lori Singer) who Richard falls in love with at first sight.

It’s just great fun all around.  The film blends the farce of mistaken identities and situations with an entertaining tale.  Hanks is outstanding as the leading man and Singer is well cast as the femme fatale who is tired of the game.  Coleman and Durning work well fighting out their own private battle not caring about casualties and Belushi and Fisher give some of the best performances of their careers.

The film is filled with great gags and moments: the team tearing up Richard’s apartment and putting it back together (badly) in haste, the ambulance listening to the tape of Richard and Paula and Morris overhearing and chasing after it, the softball scene, the dentist’s office, the concert (including a nice cameo by David Ogden Stiers), and Maddy’s attempt to seduce Richard into telling him her secrets with the entire team watching behind two-way mirrors.  Great stuff.

This is just a fun film that although isn’t your average love story it does have surprisingly tender moments.  Though it’s a bare-bones edition without any extras, The Man with One Red Shoe is a great film with a terrific cast and wonderful script make this one DVD that belongs on your shelf.

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