Saturday, May 25, 2013

happy birthday frank oz

Not only is Frank Oz the puppeteer and voice of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover, but he has directed some of my favorite comic films. And of course he is the man behind Jedi Master Yoda. Sounds like it's time for a Frank Oz film fest, but which one to watch first?

Little Shop of Horrors is a hoot, with Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene an adorable couple, Audrey II as a very impressive space alien plant, and Steve Martin as a particularly creepy dentist.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels pits Steve Martin vs. Michael Caine as con men on the French Riviera, with a lovely Glenne Headley giving them both a run for her money.

Steve Martin and Michael Caine strike a pose
Bill Murray shows his support for his doctor, Richard Dreyfuss
What About Bob? may be Bill Murray's best film, as he unloads all of his neuroses on his shrink Richard Dreyfuss's doorstep, with of course, hilarious results.

Housesitter pairs Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in a romance that is part comedy, part duel.

In and Out, is another funny funny film, featuring Kevin Kline as Howard Brackett's a high school English teacher who is outed by a former student at the Oscars played by Matt Dillon. Joan Cusack is amazing as Kline's fiancee and Tom Selleck is wonderful as a self-centered entertainment reporter who wants to get the scoop of Howard's coming-out party.

Joan Cusack and Kevin Kine watch the Oscars
Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in Hollywood
Martin heads the cast again in Bowfinger, a wicked Hollywood farce that also stars Eddie Murphy in one of his best comic performances.

Although I love all of the films listed above I may have to start with Death at a Funeral, which I haven't yet seen. I've seen the pretty funny remake with Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Peter Dinklage, but Oz's film is set in England and it also features Dinklage. Maybe a double feature with Bowfinger ...
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