- Movie Rating -

Rhinestone (1984)

| June 22, 1984

I never thought I would have to report on a movie with a running gag about jock itch, but here we are.

Rhinestone is a pre-packaged deal, a movie that so closely guards the images of its two stars that a moment of spontaneity or human dimension can’t get its foot in the door.  Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton are trapped in this movie, which feels like an extended sketch from “Hee-Haw” with spot gags and double-entendres that land like a first take.

How did they get into this mess?  What are they doing to their careers?  Sly and Dolly are two of the most charming people at work in the movies and here they are belting out dumb sitcom one-liners that would easily get a show cancelled.

The story is a bad sitcom regurgitation of “My Fair Lady” with Dolly as a country singer who is in a New York Nightclub and makes a bet with the owner that she can take anybody in the place and turn him into a country singer.  Just then, Stallone’s cab pulls up, crashing into another car like he was escaping a Burt Reynolds movie.

Well, after costing him his job, plus enduring about 50 jokes about haystacks and cow shit, Stallone reluctantly agrees and she takes him back home to Tennessee to meet the folks, among them her father played by the old reliable Richard Farnsworth.

The culture-clash jokes are painful.  The image of New York as a filthy den of hateful people wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t limited to heckling at a country singer belting out a bad song.  And the image of the south wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t feel like it was a Hollywood packaging of cornpone jokes wrought by people who had never been south of Kentucky.

Again, you feel Dolly and Sly being protected.  The movie never allows them to be people, only the audience’s expectations of them if they were to appear on The Tonight Show.  It’s all at that level.  This is bad, really bad, embarrassingly bad.  And the third time I heard that jock itch joke I began to be concerned about the future of Stallone’s career.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1984) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy