Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I've been listening lately to cds of Steve Martins standup material from the late 70s. I also enjoyed his book, Born Standing Up, about his career as a stand up comedian and about his troubled relationship to his father.
I came across The Man With Two Brains, one of his early films that I hadn't seen before. The review quote on the cover says it's Steve Martin's funniest film. It's not. He has made several funny ones, like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Trains, Planes and Automobiles. He probably peaked with Roxanne, his funniest film in my mind. The last one of his I saw at a cinema was Father of the Bride, and I haven't seen any of the ones after that.

Steve Martin plays a brainsurgeon who marries golddigger Kathleen Turner and then falls in love with a telepathic brain. There's a couple of funny sightgags in the film: the cat on the operating table and the bunny-ears. There's ONE funny line: I couldn't fuck a gorilla. There's a running joke about his name being Dr Hfuhruhurr. It's not funny the first time and even less funny the seventh time. There are some silly jokes here and there, but they seem almost a bit desperate. I would have liked it better, I think, if they had gone for a darker tone and played it more straight. And of all the shitty synth scores from the 80s, this one must be the shittiest.

I wish I had seen this film when I was 12 years old. That's not really possible since I was 12 in 77 and the film was released in 83, but still. I'm sure I would have loved it then and today would have had nostalgic feelings for it. It's not really a film to see for the first time when you're 44.

Next up: The Brain That Wouldn't Die!


  1. i like the song from that movie though!

    although nothing is better than this song from a steve martin movie:

  2. That scene from The Jerk is great. I like movies, non-musicals, where the characters do a dance or sing a song. Like Rio Bravo, Buffalo 66, Bande à part or Simple Men. It's something that doesn't work in comics.