Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fire Sale

Another of the movies I watched over the weekend was Fire Sale. For those of you with FXM, it's going to be on twice tomorrow, at 3:30 AM and 7:55 AM; I'm not certain if it's available on DVD.

Russel Fikus (Rob Reiner) is packing his parents' car in the opening scenes of the movie; his parents Benny (Vincent Gardenia) and Ruth (Medford) are getting ready to go on a cross-country trip to Florida. This means that Dad is leaving the family department store in the capable hands of Russel. Or maybe not-so-capable, since Dad doesn't want Russel to do anything, even though Russel thinks he has good ideas on how to run the place. At least, he's got better ideas, since the place is going under financially. Russell would like to make a success of himself, since he's got a girlfriend at the store who won't marry him until he can make a success of himself.

Meanwhile, the other brother Ezra (Alan Arkin) used to be part of the store -- in one shot, you can see where the "and Sons" part of the store sign has had the S removed. But Ezra decided he'd rather be a basketball coach. Unfortunately, he's a failure of a coach, having only a 2-and-100something record as coach, and he fears he's going to lose his job if he can't win the Big Game. His wife Marion (Anjanette Comer) is needling him, since she wants a child and Ezra either cannot or will not provide her with one. He doesn't even want to adopt what with his job situation.

Back at the store, we learn what Dad's plan was for the place. He's got a brother-in-law Sherman (Sid Caesar) who lost a leg in World War II and, 30 years on, thinks the war is still going on. So Benny comes up with a plan: have Sherman escape from the VA hospital and burn down the store, thinking it's the local Nazi headquarters. Of course, if your crazy brother-in-law burns down the place, suspicion is bound to fall on you, but that's another story.

As I was watching this movie, I couldn't help but think of Little Murders. It's a movie that has some interesting ideas, but one where I find the execution unbelievably irritating. Having said that, I was reading some of the reviews at IMDb, and there were people who really liked it, comparing it to a later TV show like Arrested Development. I never cared for that show either, which might have something to do with my low opinion of Fire Sale. It seems that is more for people with the right sense of humor, and I just don't share that sense of humor. If you do, you may well enjoy this one.

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