The past few days I have had the oddly blended voices of Peter Cetera and Cher running through my head. Remember their classic, catchy love ballad from the late ’80s, “After All”? You probably do. But, did you know that it was featured in the movie Chances Are, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Cybill Shepherd?
I happened to watch two Robert Downey movies over the weekend, and they couldn’t have been more different. That man has been in as many movies as Kevin Bacon! In one, the aforementioned Chances Are, he plays Alex, the reincarnated husband of Corinne (Cybill Shepherd). Alex, by chance, meets and falls in love with Miranda (his daughter from his previous life – yuck?), until he remembers that he’s in love with her mother, Corinne. All kinds of fun and chaos ensues, and the movie manages to dodge the whole incest topic rather well. I actually really like this movie and have watched it many times.
The other Downey, Jr. movie I watched was Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. I didn’t really know much about it, but it was very entertaining. The plot itself was convoluted enough to keep me intrigued – Harry (Downey, Jr.) is a criminal who stumbles (literally) into the world of acting, and soon afterwards begins shadowing a private detective (Val Kilmer) to prepare for a potential role. Very quickly Harry and Perry get in over their heads, along with Harry’s childhood crush Harmony, trying to solve a double murder mystery while also staying alive. What I liked even more than the plot, though, was the playful, quirky feel of the movie. Harry also narrates the movie (in typical PI movie fashion), but he doesn’t take himself seriously. He pauses from time to time to apologize for unnecessary scenes, to talk about movie conventions, etc. One of my favorite moments is when he talks about how he hates when a movie panders to the audience by wrapping up a story with a happy ending, having everyone live (even those thought to have died). Suddenly all the characters who have died in the movie walk into the room, and then they are joined by Elvis and Abraham Lincoln. Very funny moment! There was also plenty of dark humor. For example, Harry couldn’t seem to keep track of one of his fingers (I won’t explain how he lost it). At one point it is sitting in a bucket of ice, but then a dog grabs it to play with. This is complicated by the fact that Harry is at a crime scene, and leaving his finger there will place him at the scene. Yes, I found this scene amusing as well.
So, kudos to Robert Downey Jr. for always playing interesting characters. I hope to see Iron Man soon since I hear it was very good. A super hero is a role that he hasn’t played before, from what I remember of his roles. Some of my favorite movies that he’s starred in are Soapdish (another fun ’80s movie), Zodiac (disturbing but very good), Only You, and Chances Are.
- Double Feature: Cloverfield and Only You
- Indiana Jones, A Prairie Dog, and Flying Monkeys = Silly Summer Fun