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Johnny Dangerously (1984), Amy Heckerling, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, May 24th, 2007


This movie’s got everything. A potty-mouthed grandma, visual puns, a musical number, asides to the camera, animal gags, non-sequiturs, snappy costumes, Griffin Dunne. . .what in the world more could you ever want? It does, alas, have Joe Piscopo — the least funny person in the entire known Universe. Every time he’s on screen he sucks the energy right out of the room, ruining perfectly good lines, making you cringe from his horribleness. Seriously, he’s worse than Zeppo Marx. However this can, in a way, be fun to watch, so, if you are a giving person, this is only another plus for the film.

I’ve seen this many times over the years (cheers to Chris Tyrrell for introducing it to me) and every time I notice something else. (This time I caught that Johnny is eating sushi in the prison mess hall. Sushi?! In Prison?! In 1930?! H-wh-HUH?!”) Ann had never seen it before. She liked it, especially the scene between Ma Kelly and the Irish cleaning lady.


    By the way, Stacey was always a big fan too.
    Also, I have a cigarette case monogrammed JD that I used for gum.
    And my essay that got me into NYU film school? It was about why Johnny Dangerously is an important film, and how my it reflects my life mission.

    If you add all that up you get that:
    A) I am one super geeky fella
    B) NYU should perhaps not be considered one of the “very selective” schools.

    But had I not gotten in, I would never have met one Jordan Hoffman nor, by extension, Stacey Cruwys. Therefore it is a great movie!

    Sorry I’m an idiot.

    Comment by Johnny 5 Ace in the Hole — May 25, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  2. Which is the funnier line:

    1) “Johnny! Is that true? Cause if it is? I don’t know HOW to react!”
    2) “You’d feel better if you had a cookie.”
    3) “No! That ain’t your dork!”
    4) “You wanna get laid! You wanna HUMP your brains out! Ba-BOOM!”
    5) “The Lower East Side. It Really Sucks!”
    6) “Did you know your last name is an adverb?”
    7) “What other crime family has a dental plan?!”
    8) “Suma cum laude. Magna cum laude. The radio’s too loudy.”
    9) “Sally’s place is in the home, and I intend to support her, and I’ll do anything – shine boots, drive a hack, blow glass – anything.”
    10) Oh, quit actin’ like a fag choir boy!

    Comment by Jordan — May 25, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

  3. That’s tough. Personally, I like #6. Although my favorite exchange is when Johnny and Lil are flirting and awkwardly use stoplight analogies. And Johnny needing to borrow a cup of bullets from the Capones. Really it’s all genius.

    Comment by Johnny 5 Ace in the Hole — May 29, 2007 @ 6:48 am

  4. [...] Absolutely fantastic. The only thing negative I can think to say about this movie is that it kinda outs Johnny Dangerously as not being quite as original as I thought it was. Peter Sellers is hysterical as a the cockney mob boss/french dressmaker but he is consistantly upstaged by Lionel Jeffries as the idiotic Inspector “Nosy” Parker. This flick isn’t just performances, though – the script is air tight. Haven’t discovered a new comedy like this in a long time. [...]

    Pingback by Jordan Hoffman Dot Com » The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), Cliff Owen, A — November 25, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

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