.

The Tall Guy

Jeff Goldblum, Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson

Directed by Mel Smith
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 21, 1990

Crack the shell of this insipid romantic farce and you'll find a smashingly comic satire at the core. Jeff Goldblum, in top form, stars as Dexter King, a tall American actor eager to make it on the London stage. Instead, he's stuck playing stooge for the egomaniacal comedian Ron Anderson, brilliantly skewered by British top banana Rowan Atkinson. Screenwriter Richard Curtis did straight-man duties in the London hit An Evening With Rowan Atkinson, and director Mel Smith staged the show, so The Tall Guy is art imitating life, only funnier.

Curtis also had a fling with a nurse back then and has foolishly included it as a major plot strand. Emma Thompson does the role with spirit, but the love story is a convention in a movie that does best by breaking them. Fortunately, as soon as King wins the title role in Elephant!, a misbegotten musical version of The Elephant Man, momentum is regained. The Andrew Lloyd Webber school of British musicals is wickedly shafted. Besides such ditties as "Mr. Disgusting" and "Packing My Trunk," Elephant! features a curtain number that has the dead central character (Goldblum made up as a grotesque pachyderm) rising to the clouds on wires while the ensemble sings, "Somewhere up in heaven there's an angel with big ears." For inspired lunacy like this, the dry stretches are worth enduring.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com