Sunday, August 23, 2020

Regret Watch: Vibes (1988)

Watched:  08/23/2020
Format:  TCM Underground
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Ken Kwapis

Ostensibly movies are there to be a popular entertainment enjoyed by many people, which will earn the filmmakers, collaborators and investors some money. 

I am reminded of the comedian Amber Ruffin and her series, Amber Says Why?

Who was Vibes made for, and why did they think people would enjoy it?  Why?  Was it made on a dare?  And if it was a dare, who was daring whom?  And was this the winner or loser of that dare?  Why did they choose to make this, and what is the this that they made?  Is it a comedy, and if so, what part of it is funny?  How did they get to the point where they had a camera and a set and people there to make the movie, and how did they think this was a good script?  And if they thought it was good, why did they think it was good?  Did they want to make money or did they hate money and try not to earn it, and if they thought it would make money, who did they think would pay for watching this movie?  Why did Jeff Goldblum chose to do this movie? And did he know he'd be cast with Cindy Lauper?  Did they cast them because he is tall and she is short? Why did they think psychics and Ecuador were a good fit? And why did they go to Ecaudor for real and a soundstage other times with terrible props?  Was that Elizabeth Pena? Why was she in the movie for five minutes?


First - I always thought this was a Manhattan-based comedy about psychics running a scam with other psychics.  Second - this is like a no-budget version of Romancing the Stone but furious at the idea you should like the leads.  Third - wow, clearly Lauper and Goldblum had absolutely no chemistry.  And - Fourth - what could have maybe partially redeemed the film with FX and character moments in the end is just a plastic prop that must have looked so bad they avoid showing it, and Cyndi Lauper telling us something that happened off screen.

But, I am still mostly mad this had Elizabeth Pena and then immediately took her away.  Like, what is wrong with you, movie?



Groboclown said...

I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you, here. Yeah, the acting is sub-par, the sets are low budget, a stare right into camera for the last scene, and so on, but I think the film still has a strong charm to it. To this day, I still quote some lines from it (my favorite being, "Dis is patetic!" followed closely by "What's Spanish for cookies?").

The film kind of came across as people writing it while they were filming it, along with someone (I strongly suspect Peter Falk) saying they should film it in Ecuador so he could have a free vacation there. I also suspect that they found Elizabeth Pena on vacation and asked her to be in the film for an evening of shooting.

The League said...

Here at The Signal Watch, we always leave room for people to be wrong, Groboclown. I admit I laughed at the cookies line - but that was *maybe* the first time I laughed to that point in the movie. 30 minutes in. And of course Peter Falk has a natural charm, but they didn't capitalize on it.