Monday, May 8, 2017

City Slickers (1991)

Yee-haw, for the most part.

City Slickers gets a bit schmaltzy at time, but this western comedy starring Billy Crystal and, Shane!, Jack Palance is well worth a look.

Three friends, Mitch Robbins (Crystal), Phil Berquist (Daniel Stern) and Ed Furillo (Bruno Kirby), spend two weeks taking part in a cattle drive.

Robbins is in a funk. His sales job at a radio station ("What is my job? I sell air.") is losing its lustre.

His buddies have their own problems too. Phil is in an unhappy marriage and manages a grocery store for his father-in-law. Furillo is afraid of settling down with his young wife. She wants children. Furillo fears becoming a dad means his days of playing the field are done.

Curly (Palance) is the bonafide cowboy who'll take the trio, and the rest of the would-be cowboys including Bonnie Rayburn (Helen Slater) on the trek.

City Slickers is fun mostly for its one-liners. Most are delivered by Crystal.

Mitch to Ed on trying on western wear: "I think you look like one of the Village People."

Mitch about Curly: "Did you see how leathery he was. He's like a saddlebag with eyes."

Mitch to Curly about his lack of finesse when roping cattle: "I have a roping disability."

In-between the banter, and driving the cattle, Mitch, Phil and Ed find time to talk about their respective problems back home. I'm all for men sharing their feelings. Here, it occasionally gets to be a bit much.

That's a small quibble. City Slickers is worth a whoop, or two.

RATING: 8/10

FUN FACTS: That's Jake Gyllenhaal as Mitch's son. I didn't recognize him. Thanks, Internet Movie Database.

Veteran actress Jayne Meadows (Song of the Thin Man) is the voice of Mitch's mom.

Jack Palance won a best supporting actor Oscar for City Slickers. His last nomination was for Shane in 1954.

Helen Slater's first film role was as Supergirl.

1 comment:

Roman J. Martel said...

Yeah the banter and Crystal's interactions with Palance are what make this film hold up pretty well. The early 1990s heartfelt moments are a little less tolerable, but the whole package works. The score is also a lot of fun. A good mix of traditional 1950s Western scoring with silly comedic moments.