- Movie Rating -

Windy City (1984)

| September 28, 1984

I would rather eat a two-by-four than watch this movie again.

 Windy City is so saccharine sweet that I just wanted to throw salt on it.  I would have been satisfied to throw anything at this movie except a compliment.  It’s one of those “me and my friends” movies that gathers together a bunch of schmos with names like Mickey and Bobby and Pete and Marty and Eddy and then flashes back to the wonderful times they had being great friends and having great adventures in the good old days.  They deserve each other, but what have we done to deserve them?

The movie stars John Shea as Danny, a writer living in Chicago who is generally irritating.  In soft-voiced narration backed by overplayed sentimental music, he tells us about his wonderful childhood buddies, nicknamed “The Rogues” who use to gather around the old TV set and watch pirate movies.  It never left them, and as they got older all they could talk about was going somewhere and being pirates.  And believe me, by the end they get to do just that.  Danny’s current problems are two-fold.  His former girlfriend Emily (Kate Capshaw) is getting married to someone else and his buddy Sol (Josh Mostel) is dying of leukemia.  Let’s start with the former girlfriend.

The relationship does not resemble real life.  They meet-cute and talk-cute like they’re acting out an extended coffee commercial.  Their dialogue sounds like it was written by hack who has fallen in love with every syllable of his tacky little script.  Danny and Emily talk to each other in cutsie little line delivery that sounds like condescending baby talk.  Danny is in love with Emily really in movie terms.  Late in the film, on her wedding day, he runs to the church to put a stop to the ceremony partially I suspect because he’s seen The Graduate too many times.  I really couldn’t believe it when his race to the chapel included him taking a running jump to cross a raising drawbridge.  I couldn’t believe it, nor could I believe the following scene in which he misses the bridge, falls into the water, doesn’t die and is able to get to the church on time.  That happens in this movie.

So, now onto Sol, who is the only one of The Rogues that is ever really a character here – the rest are just background filler.  Sol is a nice guy, overweight, so naturally he’s the funny one.  He’s also the one who is doomed.  If you can’t see already that the movie ends with one last adventure, followed by his death, followed by a tribute accompanied by a mournful orchestral score, then you’re not paying attention.  What’s worse is that even though The Rogues have grown up and moved on and started having actual lives, Danny politely strong-arms all of them into getting back together for Sol’s benefit.

I wouldn’t have a problem with any of this if the movie resembled life in any way.  Danny’s recounting of the facts is annoying, his voice is annoying, his hair is annoying.  He talks to us like he’s selling us insurance.  I wanted him to stop talking.  I wanted to movie to be over.  I want to stop writing this review.

About the Author:

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