Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1988. Universal Pictures. Story by Charles G. Booth, Screenplay by Paul Mazursky, Leon Capetanos. Cinematography by Donald McAlpine. Produced by Paul Mazursky. Music by Maurice Jarre. Production Design by Pato Guzman. Costume Design by Albert Wolsky. Film Editing by Stuart H. Pappé.
This movie isn’t in any way difficult to watch, and the performances are all quite good, but for a comedy I can’t say it’s very funny. Richard Dreyfuss plays a New York actor who finishes filming a movie in the country of Parador at the same time that the president of the country dies of a heart attack. Wanting to keep the political situation calm in the country, the president’s right-hand man (Raul Julia) asks Dreyfuss, who just happens to be a dead ringer for the leader, to step in and impersonate him until things can be further resolved. Taking the part seriously, Dreyfuss infuses his own personality into the leadership of the country, putting the president on a diet and becoming more generous with the oppressed peoples of the nation. He even manages to fall in love with his counterpart’s mistress (Sonia Braga, who is delightful) despite the fact that she never falls for his act for a moment. Paul Mazursky’s flat adventure doesn’t have much flair or originality, but it is pleasant and the musical score is beautiful. Braga is the film’s best asset, as is the unforgettable sight of seeing Mazursky in drag as the president’s mother.
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Raul Julia); Best Supporting Actress (Sonia Braga)