Something Wild (1986) movie poster

director Jonathan Demme
viewed: 05/10/2017

A girl calls out a guy who she caught sneaking out of a restaurant without paying. She’s super quirky, he’s super straight-laced and she cajoles him into her car and into an impromptu adventure.

It’s Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels as the respective girl and guy in Jonathan Demme’s 1986 road comedy Something Wild. It’s kind of a flimsy plot that doesn’t seem to add up at first but as the characters reveal themselves through the film, the logic starts to play out. The only thing really impromptu was the guy-selection, Griffith’s Audry/Lulu was always planning on hitting her 10 year high school reunion. She didn’t necessarily count on Ray Liotta, her estranged husband fresh out of prison, to show up and make things difficult.

As much comedy as there is, it’s also quite a somber affair, not fully darkened, but troubled at heart. Ultimately, it’s about the characters. Griffith and Daniels and Liotta give the movie emotional depth and weight, and the soundtrack of cool 1980’s music gives it cult hepness. The backroad byways they travel down offer a glimpse of a lost America.