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Overall Rating

Awesome: 33.33%
Worth A Look36.67%
Just Average: 26.67%
Pretty Crappy: 3.33%
Sucks: 0%

2 reviews, 18 user ratings

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Easy Money
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by Jack Sommersby

"Worth a Few Bucks"
3 stars

For fans of its star this should suffice as a fine Saturday-afternoon time-killer.

The Rodney Dangerfield star vehicle Easy Money should be a lot funnier than it is, scoring only about fifty percent of the time on the laugh meter, but the parts that work do so persuasively enough to warrant this hit-and-miss movie a slight recommendation despite the disappointing feeling a lot of comic potential has been direly wasted. This marks the nightclub performer Dangerfield's first leading role in a motion picture after leaving us in absolute stitches three years prior in a supporting role as the crass, obnoxious millionaire in the fitfully amusing Caddyshack; there, sharing screen time with such pros as Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Ted Knight he managed to be the standout with an array of uproarious one-liners and masterful delivery - he gave that mini-classic oodles of energy the haphazard proceedings didn't really know what to do with; when he was off-screen the energy level considerably dipped. (The country-club dinner banquet sequence, with Dangerfield's real-estate tycoon Al Czervik blowing ass and mercilessly lobbing insults at the snobby, uptight members, is still something of a guilty-pleasure masterpiece.) In Easy Money he's a middle-class baby photographer by the name of Monte Capuletti, who's the very epitome of bad health: a habitual cigarette and pot smoker, consumer of fattening foods, drinker of cases of beer, possessor of a gut that could bridge oceans, he looks like he could keel over from a coronary at any moment. Added to which, he's a compulsive gambler and regular attendee at racing tracks and strip clubs with his equally-sloven friends whose maturity levels are in the minus double digits. Still, he's an innately decent family man despite his bountiful vices - he loves his stay-at-home wife and two teenage daughters even though he's forever indulging in the kind of gluttonous behavior that all but guarantees a short lifespan; as he freely admits, he lacks willpower, which is considerably tested when the wealthy, disapproving mother-in-law he openly despises (she tells him he's a walking menace who can barely stand erect, with him countering she's the inspiration for twin beds) is reportedly killed in a plane crash, leaving behind a will stipulating that if Monte reforms himself within one year he will inherit her department-store fortune to the tune of ten-million dollars. What does this entail? He must forgo all drinking and betting and smoking, and must weigh in at no less than a hundred and seventy pounds after the allotted time, with the estate lawyer making clear he'll be keeping tabs throughout.

Monte is enough of a weakling as it is, and his predicament is further compounded by his friends' refusal to alter their behavior around him, especially his best bud, the foul-tempered jackanapes Nicky (the excellent Joe Pesci from Raging Bull), who has absolutely no compunctions to even remotely reform his own ways in Monte's company. A whopping four writers have been credited with the screenplay, with Dangerfield one of them, yet there's only enough viable material for roughly half of the running time, and there's a dreary subplot involving Monte's oldest daughter's newlywed troubles that come off as mere padding to fill things out, not to mention reeking of racial insensitivity (the groom is a Hispanic, and no stone has been unturned in exploiting the moviemakers' unfunny xenophobia). The debuting director James Signorelli is of specious talent to say the very least in his inability at staging gags (not to mention, he hardly ever moves the camera around), and his collaboration with the inadequate cinematographer Fred Schuler has resulted in Easy Money a cruddy-looking production that has all the visual finesse of one of those late-night infomercials. But, miraculously enough, Rodney Dangerfield succeeds in breaking through the soporific surface value and wringing several memorable moments that keep us rooting for a movie that in no way deserves it. He's particularly taking in his scenes with Pesci, with these two an incorrigible pairing where you never for a second doubt their characters' friendship - Monte and Nicky are the kind of comrades you'd love to be around in the off-hours when your better-half has retired for the night; they're hopelessly juvenile, yes, but they have a bawdy sense of mischief that could keep even an elderly gentleman young at heart. There are a cluster of crackerjack lines to be had, and while one wishes Easy Money had a far more inventive final payoff there's little denying the overall whole gets the job done well enough if you're willing to lower your expectations on a decidedly undemanding level. In his unbridled commitment to entertain, the gifted, immensely-winning Dangerfield could conceivably give rise even to the Titanic.

For fans of this and Emilio Estevez's breezy "Men at Work" the good folks at Shout Factory have paired them in a worthy Blu-Ray double feature.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2661&reviewer=327
originally posted: 10/18/20 14:38:13
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User Comments

12/28/17 morris campbell amusing from what i remember its been awhile 4 stars
3/29/08 Pamela White Dangerfield is very funny 4 stars
4/20/05 R.W. Welch Rodney does what he can with passable script. Some good one-liners. 3 stars
4/13/05 Cassander They donlt make movies like this anymore 5 stars
2/18/05 Jeff Anderson DANGERFIELD'S ALL-TIME GREATEST & FUNNIEST COMEDY! I laugh my ass off every time I WATCH IT 5 stars
8/01/04 RG One of the funniest movies ever. Full of on liners and insults. GREAT! 5 stars
6/23/03 cochese One of the funniest ever! 5 stars
1/03/03 Jack Sommersby Mangy-looking, badly written comedy is fairly passable. 3 stars
10/28/02 Charles Tatum I miss funny Dangerfield, not "Ladybugs" Dangerfield 5 stars
8/12/02 Bruce Silot This movie is hillarious and the chick with the huge tits rules! 5 stars
3/23/02 JG The main charater is Monty Capuletti not Marty as teen movie critic would believe! 5 stars
2/26/02 Jim McDermott Pesci is classic: "let me lick the Bride!" 5 stars
1/09/02 Andrew Carden Dangerfield Is Priceless In This Movie. Hilarious. 5 stars
10/23/01 DJ klaus kinkeid Dewds, Julio0 rocks, "I am the BADDEST MAN!" 5 stars
2/15/01 Billy Bob T. Funny shit!!! Rodney at his best! 4 stars
2/05/01 Classicdog Dangerfield and Pesci are hilarious in this one!! A must see! 4 stars
6/18/00 kemel kulick As usual, I loved it and the "artsy-fartsy critics" hated it. 4 stars
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  02-Nov-1983 (R)



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