Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1992. Castle Rock Entertainment, New Line Cinema. Screenplay by Andrew Bergman. Cinematography by William A. Fraker. Produced by Mike Lobell. Music by David Newman. Production Design by William A. Elliott. Costume Design by Julie Weiss. Film Editing by Barry Malkin.
Nicolas Cage has a mother complex that prevents him from proposing to longtime girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker, and she’s starting to get fed up with waiting. When he realizes that he loves her enough to overcome any fears or hesitations, the two of them fly to Las Vegas for a quickie wedding, where professional gambler James Caan gets a look at Parker and realizes she looks exactly like his late, beloved wife. Convincing Cage to enter a poker game with him before the wedding, Caan tricks the young man into a $65,000 debt that he agrees to withdraw if Parker spends the weekend with him. She, flabbergasted and terrified of this stranger, goes along with the plan to avoid getting her fiance killed, and is totally surprised when she finds herself responding to Caan’s romantic overtures. Throw in a troupe of flying Elvises and the sight of Parker in a Vegas showgirl dress, and you have the makings of one hell of a fun comedy. Sure, the plotting is pedestrian and the outcome predictable, but the characters are fun and the pace is bouncy. Andrew Bergman’s sense of comedy fits the material just right here (which it rarely would in his later movies, witness Striptease and Isn’t She Great), and he elicits terrific performances from the entire cast.
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Nicolas Cage)