Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash


The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash; comedy/ mockumentary, UK/ USA, 1978; D: Eric Idle, Gary Weis, S: Eric Idle, Neil Innes, Ricky Fataar, John Halsey, Michael Palin, George Harrison, John Belushi, Mick Jagger, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd

In the '60s a pop group from Liverpool called "The Rutles" enchanted the world with its music and gained millions of fans. The group's members are: Dirk McQuickly, Ron Nasty, Stig O'Hara and Barry Wom. One journalist is filming a documentary about them: at their start, the Rutles played in Germany when they were discovered by producer Leggy. Soon they started their own tour through America and England, where even the Queen met them. They filmed strange films like "A Hard Day's Rut" and "Ouch", caused a controversy when it was discovered they drink tea and when they announced they were "bigger than God". But then Stig fell under the influence of a sect, Ron married an evil German woman and their firms became bankrupt, making the Rutles dissolve.

Surreal farce "The Rutles" filmmed as a mockumentary, similar as "This is Spinal Tap", spoofs the famous Beatles phenomenon, thus making it the more funnier the more the viewer knows about that British band. Event after event, the Rutles parallel almost everything the Beatles ever did, adding absurd humor as a commentary: for instance, the Beatles made a film called "A Hard Day's Night" while the Rutles made "A Hard Day's Rut"; Stig came under the influence of a sect, obviously mirroring when George Harrison converted to Hinduism; and even the event where John Lennon met and married Yoko Ono was handled in a hilarious way by transforming it into how his "clone" Ron met a Nazi woman in a "Pretentious gallery" after which he held a conference in his shower announcing he is going to marry her. Eric Idle is playing both Rutles member Dirk and a journalist - amusingly, in one funny scene where it is raining he is wearing a hat in form of a umbrella - and even a lot of prominent real stars show up, giving interviews, like Mick Jagger and the real Beatle George Harrison. Some will be bothered by the film's loose structure, compact running time and arbitrarily sequencing of wacky gags, but it is hard not to enjoy its simple charm, style, energy and surprisingly good original music, some of which is a real jewels: songs "Living In Hope" and "With A Girl Like You" are not just great, and the "Yellow Submarine Sandwich" animation segment is not just meticulous, they even recreate the same bliss of a 'Beatles feeling'. Considering the enjoyment value, it is the same as with laughing: how can you describe laughing? Either you feel it or you don't.

Grade:+++

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