- Movie Rating -

Easy Money (1983)

| August 19, 1983

Rodney Dangerfield is one of those people whose mere presence makes me laugh.  Like Groucho or Keaton, or his director inspiration W.C. Fields, there’s something in his very inhabitance that fills me with anticipation – I know that he is about to say or do something funny and I know I’m going to laugh.  That kind of involuntary response is rare and it takes a special talent to bring it out.

Given, that I entered into Easy Money with the sense that this was going to be a great movie.  On the point of the plot and of Rodney’s performance, yes, it works.  On the filmmaking itself, I think it keeps getting distracted by too much other stuff.  But let’s start with the plot.

This is a plot worthy of Rodney.  He plays Monty Capuletti, a baby photographer whose home life is functionally gluttonous.  Every hedonistic impulse that he can indulge in is present in his life, which issues him a challenge when his mother-in-law dies and leaves him a massive fortune on the condition that he give up drinking, gambling, smoking etc.  And since the movie surrounds him with all of the tenets of his excess, Rodney is nearly driven crazy.

Of course, this is exactly the kind of thing we expect in a vehicle starring Rodney and he’s very funny in it.  The clever addition here is the world that Monty inhabits which seems to consist of slobs like him who know no boundaries.  It’s a garbage pail world that he has been forced to excise himself from and the comic foibles are kind of brilliant, especially his daughter’s marriage to a Puerto Rican man which leads to the most memorable wedding scene since The Godfather.

If there’s a flaw here it may be in the pacing.  Something about this movie feels a little too slow, as if the editor didn’t really understand the nature of the comedy.  Rodney’s manic energy needs a pace that can catch him and there are scenes that run too long or, in many cases, cut too short.  Others work beautifully, especially the final line which is a classic.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1983) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy