Tuesday, March 9, 2010

#146 Raising Arizona (1987)


Director: Joel Coen (The Coen Brothers)

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Trey Wilson, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray

The Coen Brother's second film, Raising Arizona, is a ridiculous comedy featuring Nicolas Cage as Herbet I. McDunnough (you can call him H.I. for short), an outlaw who has never taken his crimes too seriously. He smiles for his mugshots but wishes he could stay straighter-- ahh, but that damn Reagan guy in the White House just makes it so hard. He forms a relationship with the woman taking his pictures in lineup (Holly Hunter) named Ed, and the two of them marry and begin a life together after H.I. is released after his 3rd stint in the jail of her employment.

She resigns from her post, and the two attempt to start a family, alas-- they cannot conceive. It is only so convenient that someone in town has just given birth to quintuplets, and Ed and H.I. take it upon themselves to take one off their hands, seeing it as only fair that they should at least get one. "They have more than they can handle."

The movie reminded me a lot of My Name is Earl-- western accents twanging, hillbilly logic, trailer homes, and wife beaters. The humor is somewhat low brow, though at times it surprises you with glimpses deeper into the characters. On the whole, I didn't find it to be that great of a film. John Goodman's acting is always a pleasure though, and in this film he plays another escaped convict who tries to steal the baby (Nathan Jr.) from the McDonnough's for the reward of returning him.

The film was pleasant, and the characters were sometimes very cute-- particularly Holly Hunter. I don't think I would ever go out of my way to see this film again, but if it was on television, I might pause and watch a bit... instead of clicking by.

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