Volume 94, Issue 26
Tuesday, October 17, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
SNL finally finds funny Man
Gazette File Photo
The Ladies Man
Starring: Tim Meadows, Karyn Parsons
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin
By Chad Finkelstein
Like any loyal fan of the Scream franchise knows, there are rules for horror movies. With the recent release of The Ladies Man, it seems like an appropriate time to lay out the rules for Saturday Night Live spin-offs.
The first rule is, upon viewing any film derived from SNL, one must lower their expectations considerably.
This is neither high-brow comedy, nor biting satire or witty social commentary. This is a movie based on a recurring, five-minute comic bit. The point of the film, is that there is no point.
The only exception to this rule is Wayne's World and to a lesser extent, Wayne's World 2, which were the only SNL movies that appealed to a more distinguishable mass and adorns many a video library. The Ladies Man is certainly no Wayne's World, but it sure as hell isn't Superstar either.
That said, The Ladies Man is a relatively funny movie that actually injects a bit of personality into the floundering SNL franchise. It is also the only opportunity Tim Meadows has ever had to flex his comedic strength in any venue, despite starring on SNL for so many years.
The second rule is that reality is not an issue. The simplistic premise of The Ladies Man is that Leon Phelps (Tim Meadows) is a late-night radio host of a tasteless, but popular sex show. The movie never attempts to explain why he is stuck in the '70s, which is apparent from his oversized afro and outdated yet ridiculously blunt come-ons to women.
Regardless, Leon, who has slept with a good majority of Chicago's married women, is portrayed as the ultimate ladies man.
When he gets fired from his job, he realizes the little worth of his life and tries to find true love. For a good portion of the movie, the audience should be in hysterics.However, by the end, one hear such remarks as, "So, what was the point of that?" or "As if she'd really fall in love with him," bringing all of us back to the rule that one should not retain a tight grip on reality while watching these movies.
The third rule of SNL comedy movies derives from a critical stance. SNL comedies must be evaluated on a different scale than other movies. Granted, The Ladies Man is funny, but only within the realm of SNL movies.
Leon is probably the most refreshing and unpredictable SNL character since Wayne and Garth, but not through any incredible feat of comedic talent.
Rather, his humour derives from a smattering of witty and uninspired one-liners, like "You should go down to the bus station with no underpants."
This is not outstanding humour, but to hear it in Meadows' characteristic lisp, is worth the price of admission.
Nobody should go to see The Ladies Man for the plot, the romantic subtext or to see if Leon finds redemption in the end. The point of this movie and others like it, is for audiences to relish for an hour and a half in a guilty pleasure, memorizing all of the inevitable catch phrases spawned by it. The Ladies Man doesn't make a lot of sense and can't be enjoyed if taken too seriously.
Hopefully, this will help some misguided moviegoers decide if the low-brow The Ladies Man is for them. It is always important to bear in mind that if one does not think too hard about the SNL movie in question, then it can be pretty enjoyable.
All things considered, on this special Saturday Night Live spin-off scale, The Ladies Man is fortunate to rank better than most.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000