I watched this movie knowing absolutely nothing about it but what was in the blurb on Netflix, and therefore went into it with a completely open mind. It turns out this is a desirable quality in order to enjoy it, as this is Broadway getting the full treatment from comedian and satirist Mel Brooks. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are hysterically funny as a singularly untalented producer and a slightly unhinged (“Unhappy!”) accountant who team up to co-produce the worst Broadway show possible so they can pocket the investors’ money after it flops. The worst play, guaranteed to offend absolutely everyone, is written by Not-A-Nazi-At-All Franz Liebkind, played by Will Ferrell who absolutely kills it as the “teutonic twit”. They find the worst director, the worst cast, the worst everything, including hiring Uma Thurman’s dim bulb character Ulla, whose intentionally over-the-top Swedish accent fades in and out throughout the film (very funny!).
Just to be clear, this entire movie is meant to be a spoof of Broadway musicals, especially the enormous song-and-dance films of the 1950s. It’s full of extremely quotable lines (“May I take your hat, your coat, and your swastikas?”), but a word of caution. If you don’t enjoy in-your-face gay humor, this movie won’t be your cup of tea. There’s a lot of blatant innuendo, much like in The Birdcage, (also starring Nathan Lane) and I wouldn’t recommend this movie for children despite its deceptively innocuous PG-13 rating. Lane and Broderick in particular give masterful performances as human cartoons, with all the silliness and slapstick humor of the Tom & Jerry show. My personal favorite cameo was John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow) as a bleach-blonde, goose-stepping Nazi, actually singing very well in “Springtime for Hitler”. This entire movie was a farce from start to finish, as it was intended, and I loved every ridiculous minute of it. – BETHANY
For more on this hilarious movie, visit the Internet Movie Database
“Do I smell the revolting stench of self-esteem?” Jon Lovitz as Mr. Marks.
Uma Thurman nails the va-va-voom of Ulla. “My name is Ulla Inka Hanson Benson Yanson Tallen Hallen Swadon Swanson.”
John Barrowman as the Lead Tenor.
This is a clip from the original Broadway show with many of the same cast members. Caution: spoilers!
Photos courtesy of Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures Corporation and Brooksfilms