Life Stinks Reviews
Rememberable, looney characters, and great slap stick moments.
There are attempts at humor in the film, make no mistakes about that, with with Brooks you can count on either biting satire or goofy, go-for-broke sight gags. You'll find none of that here. Because of the subject matter. most of the humor is uncomfortable and it doesn't mix well with the paths and social commentary.
I can understand Brooks wanting to shine a light on a serious subject matter through the use of humor, but here the line between the two is blurred and neither is effective. The homeless in the film are fairly impossible to take seriously because they are written as kooky but lovable scamps. The upside of that is that it makes the preposterous relationship that develops between Brooks and bag lady Lesley Anne Warren palatable but still incredibly difficult to stomach.
There are also several basic contrivances with the story that are never fully resolved, but they do make for a happy ending in which everyone learns a lesson and is wiser for the experience. Everyone, that is, except for the audience of "Life Stinks." It's a definite departure for Brooks that still tries to retain the spirit of his earlier films, but the gamble misfires badly. It's a somber experience, and the lack of successful jokes make it even more unbearable.
Mel Brooks stars in, directs, screenplays, writes this story about a bet made only by the weathy against the wealthy. An unconventional comedy of almost non-stop humor. Mel Brooks plays a billionaire who, on a bet, takes to the L.A. streets for one month and ends up with the education of a lifetime.
If not for Mel Brooks, I would have written this fantasy-comedy-drama off as a joke. But Brooks turns the tables on us as he sheds light on the plight of the homeless and what they endure while we watch in and pay for a nice theatrical experience.
Brooks complains that life stinks because without money it really does stink, literally and figuratively.
Well done Mr. Brooks.
Mel Brooks (as the bet making billionaire)
Lesley Ann Warren (as a homeless dancer and divorcee)
Director: Mel Brooks
Producer: Mel Brooks
Screenplay: Mel Brooks
Story by: Mel Brooks
Screenplay: Rudy De Luca
Story by: Rudy De Luca
Story by: Ron Clark
Screenplay: Steve Haberman
Story by: Steve Haberman
Associate Producer: Kim Kurumada
Production Designer: Peter S. Larkin
Costume Designer: Mary Malin
Composer: John Morris
Editor: David Rawlins
Cinematographer: Steven B. Poster
Executive Producer: Ezra Swerdlow