The obese and ugly North Carolina Senator Jack Kray (Michael Lerner) keeps his boozy wife (Karen Allen) on a very short leash and would do the same to his college student son Henry (Matt Newton) if Matt were still close enough. When they reunite on the eve of a speech that the Senator will deliver on Henry's campus, Henry is appalled to find out that father wants him to deliver a fawning introduction to dear old dad. When Henry balks, Dad simply smacks him in the face. Nice.
Continue reading: Poster Boy Review
Martin plays Arthur, a down-on-his luck sheet-music salesman worn out by his loveless marriage to Joan (Jessica Harper) - loveless, in part, because his life with Joan can't match the fantasies produced by the lyrics he sells. Hitting the road, he meets Eileen (Bernadette Peters), a mousy but sweet school teacher. Together, they fall in love, and express that love in dance and song. Sort of: They're actually lip-synching to songs of the '30s, riffing on old music the same way that Martin would riff on old films less successfully a few years later in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. After Arthur gets cold feet about the relationship - not before dancing quite well - Eileen falls into the dastardly clutches of Tom (Walken), a pimp. It's Walken's performance that makes the film - a dowdy but charming tap-dance striptease to Cole Porter's "Let's Misbehave." With a pencil-thin mustache and a lecherous leer, he has all the fearfulness he showed in The Deer Hunter with a sophistication he never showed off often enough.
Continue reading: Pennies from Heaven Review