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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Man With Two Brains (1983)



Reviews and Comments

It's not a lack of laughs that fails this screwy madcap Steve Martin comedy from director Carl Reiner. It's the choppy, confused storyline. Is this an all-out loony farce? Or is it a milder romantic comedy with heart? It doesn't help when scenes in the middle of the movie are too engaging for their own good. The audience starts to care too much about the quirky love affair between a brain surgeon and a live, disembodied brain -- which would be fine, except the matter is resolved in a slapstick climax leaving the viewer unfulfilled. Kathleen Turner does what she can with her femme fatale character, but her part is poorly written and a great source of confusion. Even in the surreal world of the whacky, rules must be set, or the story is little more than random actions of random characters presented as a story. To the film's credit, there are enough good gags to evoke near constant laughs, with some left over to make up for the jokes that don't work (whether they're poorly executed, too vulgar to be funny, or just plain stupid). If only it were as satisfying as a film Steve Martin and Carl Reiner made a year later -- All of Me, which took a remarkably similar theme and played it as a more "straight" comedy, then this would be a landmark film indeed.