Sunday, March 02, 2014


Just finished watching what I think the critics like to call a "bloated farce": WAKE ME WHEN IT'S OVER, a 1960 vehicle for Dick Shawn. Maybe it just seemed so long because it took me practically a week of being sick to watch it. Plus it has the kind of title that makes it too easy for dumb critics: "Wake me when it's over INDEED!" they probably huffed. I hate them so much. I have been emailing Megan and McNeil about this movie (separately) and neither one of them has seen it, which amazes me, because between the two of them, or so I figured, they have seen everything. It's about some servicemen on a remote island building a mod, swinging hotel out of old airplane parts. You can kind of see that in the frame above, though there are no decent shots from WAKE ME WHEN IT'S OVER on the "internet." WAKE ME WHEN IT'S OVER has everything McNeil likes: mod curtains and remote islands. And that is everything McNeil likes. It also has sexism, Orientalism, colonialism, you name it! It's an often morally and politically wretched piece of work that seems to endorse slavery - ! - as a cute local custom, for example. Some early scenes in the second act anticipate Altman's M*A*S*H. Who cares? Not even me. Jack Warden gives one of those performances that interests me: he really digs in and goes for an actual character when everything around him cries otherwise - though it's always nice to see Don Knotts (in a brief early film role that shows his persona fully formed). But the main thing is Megan sent me Dick Shawn's obituary: he died onstage and lay there for five minutes before some of the audience figured out it might not be part of his act.