Michael Elias

Michael Elias

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Michael Elias , guest - WGA's 101 Funniest Screenplays unveiling held at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at Cinerama Dome - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 11th November 2015

Michael Elias and Guest
Michael Elias
Michael Elias

Serial Review


Extraordinary
Martin Mull is a little-remembered comedian of the '70s and '80s, best known for TV's Fernwood 2-Night and the HBO series The History of White People in America (with collaborator Fred Willard, since then a fixture in Christopher Guest movies). Mull achieved greatness only with Serial, an underrated mainstream comedy with moments of Albert Brooks-like social satire.

Based on a novel by Cyra McFadden about the wacky California hot-tub culture of the late '70s, Serial expanded on the novel's Marin County setting to skewer the entire decadent nation. Mull plays a working stiff whose wife (Tuesday Weld, in an excellent performance) leaves him to find herself. His teenage daughter joins a cult, and Mull tries to adapt to a single lifestyle while wanting his family back. The supporting characters include a psychologist (Peter Bonerz) who encourages Mull's best friend to drown himself in the Bay to achieve oneness with the universe, and Tom Smothers as a hippie priest who begins a wedding by apologizing for being part of a society that "kills whales."

Continue reading: Serial Review

The Jerk Review


Excellent
One of Steve Martin's proto-characters, The Jerk isn't quite what his name suggests, he's really more of an idiot than a jerk. "Born a poor black man," the film follows his misadventures from the sharecrop farm to the big city, the circus, Hollywood, and ultimately fabulous wealth and bankruptcy, oblivious all the way. Ultimately he really does turn from sheer ignorant to wilfully awful, so maybe he's a jerk too... but that's beside the point. Martin's one-liners are pretty funny, very dry, and awfully quotable. Bernadette Peters, as the love of his life, appears in one of her most memorable roles, too.
Michael Elias

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