Movie Review: Moscow on the Hudson

Dennis suggests Moscow On the Hudson (in Comedy).  Man-o-man, do I never want to watch another Robin Williams movie.  There was a time when I thought he was the funniest guy on the planet (until around 1984- check out the Robin Williams Live VHS in the comedy section).  And then there was a time when I thought he had the potential to be a very good dramatic actor (I’ll give him until 1997, when he was very good indeed in Good Will Hunting, although his “Boston” accent was awful, when he remembered to use it).  In between, and since, I greet the prospect of sitting through another of his self-indulgently spastic and/or simperingly drippy performances with all the dewey anticipation usually reserved for one’s first colonoscopy.  Seriously, if anyone ever, EVER, tries to put Patch Adams on in the store, I am going to Hulk out and start throwing shelving units.  Anyhoo, this 1984 Paul Mazursky movie can boast, perhaps, Williams’ most rounded, inhabited performance as Vladimir Ivanoff, a yearning Russian circus saxophonist who, almost accidentally, defects to America in the middle of Bloomingdale’s while on a tour in New York.  Going beyond the Yakov Smirnoff-ian setup, Mazursky and Williams create a layered, complex, funny, and moving portrait of the immigrant experience in America, as Vladimir quickly passes through the first blush of newfound freedom, finds a sexy but conflicted Latina girlfriend (Maria Conchita Alonso was never better, or sexier), and realistically copes with the loneliness, fear, and disillusionment of being a “free man.”  Williams was also never better.  And now I will try to blot all memories of Death to Smoochy from my mind.

Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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