A Fish Called Wanda (1988)


A Fish Called Wanda (1988) movie poster

directors Charles Crichton, John Cleese
viewed: 02/12/2016

One of the late 1980’s well-regarded comedies, A Fish Called Wanda.  How does it hold up?

Pretty well.

From a script by John Cleese, it’s a heist caper comedy featuring an Oscar-winning, incredibly funny and perverse Kevin Kline at his arguable best.  He’s the despicable Otto, an angry, jealous, cruel, and ruthlessly funny strongman of a group that pulls a jewelry heist in London and then quickly turns on one another, to see who can out-scam whom.  Jamie Lee Curtis is the smart and sexy moll, Wanda, one of her two very good comedic roles (the other being in Trading Places (1983)).  And you’ve got Michael Palin playing K-K-K-Ken, the stuttering killer who is soft on animals.  And Cleese, as the barrister straight-man at the heart of the story.

Aspects of the film aren’t as sharp as they seemed perhaps when it was first released.  But Kline is hilarious, and the film is still quite funny.

The kids thought it was “okay”.  But I found myself quoting lines the next day.

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