Wayne's World Reviews
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey take their roles as Wayne and Garth from their Saturday Night Live skit to the movies in their instant classic, big screen production, "Wayne's World."
Wayne and Garth, in their home town of Aurora, Illinois, get their big break as their internet sensation, "Wayne's World," starts gaining attention. Benjamin Oliver, played by Rob Lowe, sees the show and instantly sees how easily he could control it. He begins contacting them and as the two stars see the money they could be making, they start to freak out, and they start falling into the corporate black hole they always hated. While the pay raise was good, the twists and turns of the T.V industry that came their way were unexpected. Wayne and Garth wish they had their old live's back, broadcasting from their garage, as they have to fight to even put their own input into their own show. As the movie goes on, Wayne meets "Mega Babe", Cassandra and instantly falls in love. She really can "wail" on the guitar and Wayne does anything to try to get her, while also trying to get his show back. The two realize that money is not everything, but the things that really matter are what they already had sitting right in front of them.
This movie is made primarily to be a low budget comedic film. On first impression one way assume it to be a B rate movie with childish jokes and basic writing. However genuinely creative writing and story telling are hidden in the prose. At the core Wayne's World is a coming of age story. Wayne and Garth start the movie with no real direction or purpose meandering around pointlessly. Towards the end they are still immature, but the whole experience they have had has changed them, making them a bit wiser and more mature than in the beginning of the film.
The film cleverly uses irony frequently through the film. Many of what Wayne and Garth assume is often incorrect, and many of the jokes stem from twists of more traditional jokes or what we are thought to believe. The biggest example of irony in the film is their main predicament. Their show, turns into what they always hated bout big time Tv and Hollywood. They created the corporate money making machine they hated, and not doing what they love. The irony is used primarily for laughs, but ultimately illuminates the main meaning of the film, to care less about money, and more of what you love doing. The most ironic thing about the film was that the whole main idea of the film was that you should care less about money and more about doing what you love; but this movie went from a little SNL skit to a big screen production.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this movie to any SNL fans, 90's comedies fans, or just anyone trying to laugh. You'll be sure to love seeing Mike Myers and Dana Carvey at their peak. Show this with your friends and be prepared to laugh.
To some extent, we could hold Wayne's World responsible for this state of affairs. Its success at the box office opened the floodgates for the likes of Coneheads, It's Pat and Stuart Saves His Family to clutter up multiplexes on both sides of the pond at the expense of smarter, better comedies. But while those travesties are now largely forgotten in the minds of the movie-going public, Wayne's World has endured even as the careers of its main stars have waned. The reason for this is both simple and hard to explain - but rest assured, it's still pretty funny.
It's easy to think that Wayne's World has been embraced purely because it is so gleefully and unapologetically goofy. It makes no apologies for its rough edges, modest character development or the performances of its leading men, and that confidence is naturally endearing. But for all the cult appeal of individual lines or sequences (head-banging to Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is now almost automatic), there is still more to it than that.
What separates Wayne's World from the likes of Coneheads and others from the SNL stable is not simply a feeling of confidence about its style. It also has a lack of arrogance about it - which is pretty impressive if you believe all the stories about Mike Myers' diva-ish demands behind the scenes. While other SNL vehicles bumble around with their head in the clouds, feeling as sure as the sun will rise that an audience will find the same joke funny for more than five minutes, Wayne's World is altogether more modest and far less obnoxious. It puts in the hard yards without feeling the need to shout about it, and it accepts its small, self-contained identity rather than striving to be something that it's not.
At its most basic, the story of Wayne's World is neither especially complex nor overly original. It's the tried-and-tested story about young artists who are faced with the choice between getting rich and selling out or staying true to their art but living in poverty. It treads the line between right-on satire of the music business and just depicting the status quo, helped in no small amount by the casting of Brat Pack alumnus Rob Lowe as the good-looking, early-1990s descendant of Swan from Phantom of the Paradise, or Max Renn from Videodrome.
The natural point of comparison with Wayne's World is This Is Spinal Tap, particularly given director Penelope Spheeris' background in music documentaries. There are, naturally, a number of differences, most of which only serve to provide evidence (if it were needed) of Reiner's brilliance. Wayne's World is not as intimate a work as 'Tap'; while Reiner's film was borne out of free-flowing improvisation, this has more of a conscious artifice, feeling less like a documentary than a high-concept film with a low-budget aesthetic. Equally, Reiner's film had a very clear and committed vision, while there is evidence on-screen of the clashes between director and stars off-screen. Wayne's World isn't crippled by this, but it prevents it from being a great film as opposed to merely a very good one.
Spheeris' background in music history, particularly her work on the history of punk rock and heavy metal, would lead us to assume that she would want to use the characters in this film as a vehicle to satirise the music business. Even without attempting ether a full-blown savaging like its contemporary The Player, or something as fantastical as Brian De Palma's efforts, there is plenty of scope for using the characters in this manner. But at every turn she is confronted by Myers and his co-writers Bonnie and Terry Turner, who just want to set up a situation and throw the most gags at the screen. It's a bit like imagining Slade in Flame intercut with bits of Austin Powers; it's a memorable contrast, and it kind of works, but only up to a point.
This conflict is most clearly demonstrated in the famous jokes about product placement. When the joke is done the first couple of times, it's a neat, clever gag, poking fun at the double standards present in show business and breaking the fourth wall by also targeting the film industry. But the more times the gag is repeated, the more we start to question the intentions behind it, and on repeat viewing it all feels rather lame. The same goes for the multiple endings; it works the first time, but things rapidly become tiresome and we begin to lose patience.
Fortunately, like the best work of the Zucker brothers, there is enough good comedy in Wayne's World to largely justify its running time - and unlike a lot of modern comedies, it isn't overly long. It adopts a similarly scattershot approach to Airplane! or the work of Mel Brooks, throwing as many jokes at us as it can, so that if one or two fall flat, we don't have time to dwell on them. Muost of the humour is low-brow, not to say rather stupid, but it's an honest stupidity borne out of sympathy with humble-minded characters rather than contempt for our intelligence.
One of the very best sequences in the film is the section featuring Alice Cooper, which finds a harmonious middle ground between Myers' shtick and Spheeris' more high-minded ambitions. Cooper is really enjoying the part without milking it or drawing attention to his presence in the way that so many American comedians would; he gets the premise of the scene and he serves the material really well. This scene also finds Myers and co-star Dana Carvey at their most endearing; they're still goofing around, but you also get the impression of them taking things seriously and giving Cooper the respect that he deserves.
As far as its visual sensibility goes, Wayne's World is very much a product of its time. Spheeris' lo-fi approach is complimented by her cinematographer Theo van de Sande, who would later lens Blade and Cruel Intentions, and the film's editing keeps things rolling along as a sensible pace. It's hard to argue that the fashions have aged well, or that some of its camera positions would be de riggeur today, but the visual decisions still serve the comedy well, and that's what matters.
Wayne's World remains a funny if ramshackle comedy which overcomes its internal struggles to hold our attention for the majority of its running time. Like a lot of comedies, its structural shortcomings can ultimately be excused by the consistency (or at least sheer quantity) of its gags, and for all the little niggles with the script both Myers and Carvey remain endearing screen presences. For all the misfires in Myers' subsequent careers (including the sequel), he can still take a lot of pride in this.
- It was fun watching this movie again, I really enjoyed it. Nice for a change watching a well-done PG comedy with clever comedic bits in the screenplay, that didn't just rely on obscene & shock tactics. Give it a try if it's been a while!