Mark Reviews Movies

CORKY ROMANO

Ĺ Star (out of 4)

Director: Rob Pritts

Cast: Chris Kattan, Peter Falk, Vinessa Shaw, Peter Berg, Chris Penn, Fred Ward

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for language, drug and sex-related humor)

Running Time: 1:26

Release Date: 10/12/01


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Review by Mark Dujsik

If thereís one thing going for Corky Romano, itís that it wasnít released last year, because it easily would have been the worst movie to come out that year. Fortunately for its sake, there was a little mess called Freddy Got Fingered that was released earlier this year, and that movie is the only thing keeping me from saying that Corky Romano is the worst movie so far this year. The best part about this movie is the experience you have afterwards, in which you forget relatively everything that youíve had to misfortune to see. I know there are people who would argue, "Itís just a stupid movie," to which I will now heartily answer: Yes, it is. Itís the stupidest stupid movie I can ever recall seeing.

Who is Corky Romano? I would rather not get into it, but I will for the simple sake of tradition. Corky is an assistant veterinarian, played by Chris Kattan of "Saturday Night Live" fame, who is the youngest child in the Romano "family" (the quotes mean that theyíre Mafioso). Corky doesnít want to have anything to do with the family business, and he wouldnít have a place there either. He listens to music from the 80s, drives an orange car, and is pretty dumb. When Pops Romano (Peter Falk) is arrested because of a snitch and has a heart attack on the steps outside of court, he is left bedridden and comes up with an idea. If the FBI can put a guy inside his organization to catch him, he can place someone undercover as an FBI agent to destroy the evidence. Leo Corrigan (Fred Ward) suggests Corky because of his lack of involvement.

Plus, Leo is the snitch. Donít worry; I didnít give anything away. We learn this in a little montage in the beginning of the movie. We also learn where some of the jokes are going to go. One of the other Romano boys Paulie (Peter Berg) is illiterate, while the third Peter (Chris Penn) is a closeted homosexual. We could of course go into detail about why neither of these characteristics is funny, but I like to think people are intelligent enough to figure that out on their own. Later the movie starts getting mean towards these characters for these traits, and since you know why neither characteristic is funny, youíll also know why mocking them is extremely inappropriate.

Once the plot is set, the gags are unfunny and inept. The ineptitude comes form the fact that they are cut short so often. Take as an example the scene in which Corky takes over as the head vet. A cat somehow gets ahold of an older coupleís cherished parrot, and as it runs away, Corkyís brother calls him. Or in another scene where an FBI agent wants to fight Corky because she thinks he knows a form of marital arts. After she beats him up, we expect his response, but instead the director gives them an assignment. Itís fairly obvious why these are cut short. First of all, we donít really want to see an older couple devastated by the loss of their pet, and we know Corky has no chance against the other agent. Knowing this, the screenwriters (yes, plural) had no idea where to go with the joke and took the easy way out.

Then thereís the movieís biggest problem which exists with the central character. Corky is surrounded by people stupider than he is, which is instant death for a movie about how stupid someone is. Also as played by Kattan, Corky is hyperactive and annoying, not frantic and sweet, as the movie thinks he is. Does Kattan have what it takes to carry a movie? Using Corky Romano as my sole piece of evidence, I would say no. He seems, at least here, the type who will do anything for a laugh, even if it means doing the same thing over and over and over. Thereís a difference between showmanship and showing off, and Kattan has not yet learned that.

Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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