A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Critic Consensus: Smartly written, smoothly directed, and solidly cast, A Fish Called Wanda offers a classic example of a brainy comedy with widespread appeal.
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as Archie Leach
as Wanda Gerschwitz
as Wendy Leach
as Mrs. Coady
as Shop Customer
as Shop Manager
as Sir John
as Mr. Johnson
as Mrs. Johnson
as Court Clerk
as Prosecution Counsel
as Police Officer
as Irate Driver
as Hotel Clerk
as Airline Employee
as Indian Cleaner
as Johnson Child, 13
as Johnson Child
as Johnson Child
as Junior Barrister #1
as Junior Barrister #2
as Prison Officer #1
as Prison Officer #2
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Critic Reviews for A Fish Called Wanda
Perhaps the most unusual aspect of what is surely the year's most original and daring comedy is that John Cleese is not the funniest performer in it. Believe it or not, that honor goes to none other than the usually somber Kevin Kline.
Somehow, the movie manages to do the impossible: It makes John Cleese less than hilarious.
Low comedy at high speed, it pretends to be a caper movie about a smooth London jewel heist and its infinitely complex aftermath. Actually, it's a smart farce about ingrained cultural differences.
The movie's basic joke holds that the overbearing, unselfconscious Americans will do anything and say anything (and usually as loudly as possible), while the timorous British are nearly too polite to breathe.
Wanda defies gravity, in both senses of the word, and redefines a great comic tradition.
Audience Reviews for A Fish Called Wanda
Kevin Kline is one of my all time favorites and he shines alongside Cleese, Curtis and Palin in an all time classic comedy.
It took me three attempts to get through this film, and everyone I've told about the challenge it presented me has looked at me like I have three heads. I think the movie shines in its plotting and its pacing, and I like that it's a heist movie with a comical twist, but to everyone saying "What are you talking about? IT'S HILARIOUS!", well, I disagree. Maybe it's just too dated now... or maybe Cleese left his best work in Monty Python or Fawlty Towers... something about the movie just didn't do it for me, and I wish that I could be more specific. The Kevin Kline aspect strikes me as a large part of it... the guy is just trying way too hard... his character's wacky, but not the least bit believable, and I think that's a problem when you're trying to play a crook: crime has to come from some real place inside, and to me, cartoony crooks always ring hollow. This being said, though, I think I can see this film re-watching well; my rating might improve on second viewing... or then again, as that would be my fourth attempt to enjoy this film, I'm not so sure it will.
John Cleese penned this farce on Brit/American "friendly" relations to hysterical effect as a jewelry store robbery and a search for the missing booty lead to pretty funny complications. The entire cast is to be highly commended, but Kevin Kline's fascist pig Yankee snob is the real gem here. Still potent after all these years!
A Fish Called Wanda Quotes
|Wanda Gerschwitz:||Let me correct you on a couple of things, okay? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not every man for himself.|
|Otto West:||You read...|
|Wanda Gerschwitz:||The London Underground is not a political movement. Those are mistakes. I Iooked 'em up.|
|Otto West:||Don't call me stupid.|
|Wanda Gerschwitz:||Right because calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people!|
|Otto West:||What was the Middle part?|
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