National Lampoon's Gold Diggers

Bomb Rating: 

This movie made me cry. Unfortunately, I'm not talking about the kind of cry you might have after you've unburdened your soul of your sins. I'm talking the kind of cry you have after tapping yourself on the forehead with a hammer during a frat dare until you've actually cracked your skull wide open and realized you may have done permanent, irreversible damage. It's the kind of cry like one has weeping for humanity: You hear people in the audience laughing and you suddenly realize that not only is man descended from the apes, but most people aren't any smarter than apes. Frankly, I can absolutely guarantee that an ape would not laugh at what's in this movie, and that's not because the ape is incapable of understanding it.

The basic premise is that twenty-somethings Calvin (Will Friedle) and Leonard (Chris Owen) think they're marrying sixty-somethings Doris (Louise Lasser) and Betty Mundt (Renée Taylor) so they can inherit their fortunes. Meanwhile, Doris and Betty plan to murder Calvin and Leonard and collect insurance money. Frankly, this whole idea couldn't have been less funny if admission included actual sex with somebody's grandmother.

I didn't laugh once. Hell, I don't think I even smiled. I just sort of sat there doubled over in pain wondering whether or not I should walk out after thirty minutes and make the review up. But no, I stayed for the whole thing. I just spent the time trying to figure out who on Earth read this script and thought it was funny. How did this film even get made? How did some executive watch the dailies and decide it should be given a wide release? I mean, I realize that putting the "National Lampoon" brand on a movie these days basically implies cinematic sodomy, but it still boggles the mind that somebody somewhere on Earth thought somebody else would find this funny.

The movie played out like it was the first draft of a script written by somebody who had never written a comedic film script of any kind. If somebody told me the screenwriter was from Mars and was unfamiliar with the concept of comedy, I would not be surprised. The best the film can do is having Betty dance in lingerie while Calvin makes faces like he's going to puke. You could take a box of Magnetic Poetry's Bland Words edition, throw the pieces against a refrigerator, and get more stimulating dialogue.

Frankly, I'd cut myself open, tie my intestines to the back bumper of a bus, and be dragged to my death before I'd see this film again.

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