Leonard Part 6 (1987) (part 11 of 15)
Sure enough, Leonard is now in a surgical smock and cap, strapping himself into a chair and preparing to perform surgery on himself. He asks Frayn for the scalpel and the clamp, and in keeping with this film’s tradition of subtle humor, the theme from St. Elsewhere plays. No, really. How sad is it when I start to think an Ed Begley Jr. cameo would actually improve this movie?
And when Leonard asks for the “clamp”, Frayn hands him a big heavy duty clamp like you’d find in a construction worker’s toolbox. Yep.
Leonard then asks for the “belt”, and Frayn puts a leather belt with a gold buckle in Leonard’s mouth. But Leonard spits it out and asks for the “other belt”, which turns out to be a bottle of whiskey. Oh, hell yeah. That’s what I’m talking about.
There’s a long, unbroken shot as Cosby chugs the entire bottle of whiskey like he’s back in a Coke commercial. A very, very warped Coke commercial. This is almost amusing, and we can’t have that, so Frayn’s VO butts in once again to explain that “administering of the anesthetic had to be precise”. That makes it all so much funnier, doesn’t it? Well, guess what, jerk? Administering of the funny also needs to be precise, but no one involved with this movie seems to have had a clue about that.
Now Leonard is speaking in liquor-induced babble, which is only slightly less coherent than Cosby’s usual babble, but Frayn still knows to hand him a hunting knife, which Leonard buries in his shoulder. So by now, we’re watching a drunk Bill Cosby performing surgery on himself with a hunting knife. Hey, having fun yet, Cosby Show fans?
Leonard begins whimpering and sweating, and after sitting through three-fourths of this movie, I think we all sympathize.
But as bad luck would have it, it’s this exact moment that his daughter Joan decides she needs to talk to him. She appears right outside the door, and calls out to remind him that tonight is her play’s opening night.
Instead of simply stopping the surgery for the minute or so it would take to talk to her, he continues operating on himself and grunting and groaning as he talks to her. That’s comedy, you see. She slips some of her play’s newspaper reviews under the door, and Frayn crawls [?] across the floor to retrieve them and show them to Leonard.
Leonard reads aloud one review, all the while throwing in screams and yells as he continues to operate on himself. See, he’s groaning as he reads about her “gut wrenching performance”, ha ha, get it? Actually, something tells me that once this movie came out, Cosby was doing some screaming and yelling of his own while reading reviews.
To explain away all the shrieking, Leonard pretends he’s taking a shower and the water’s too hot. Well, at least he didn’t go for the “getting sodomized by Frayn” excuse.
Joan, satisfied with this answer, wanders off. Leonard finally gets the bullet out, and Frayn holds out a jar full of bullets for Leonard to drop it in. For no particular reason, Frayn notes that this one is “platinum”. Whatever.
Back at Ye Olde International Tuna Plant, Medusa tells Mr. Sans Eyebrows that the “offensive will begin on schedule”. Funny, I was thinking the “offensive” had already started. He wonders how they’ll do it without the Sphere, but Medusa promises she has a plan that will force Leonard to return the Sphere. And in conclusion, evil chuckle, evil chuckle.
Cut to a theater. Joan’s stage play is already in progress, and the cast is “hilariously” filled with rank and file amateurs. The play appears to be a blatant take-off on Tennessee Williams, because all the characters are small town 1950s Southerners. Eventually, we learn that the entire plot of this play is that Joan’s character is in love with a guy with hepatitis. [?]
Out in the audience, Leonard is snoring, while Allison is sitting next to him and barely staying awake. And now they both know what the last hour or so has been like for the rest of us. Just between you and me, I don’t think Cosby had to dig deep within himself to find inspiration to play this scene.
Leonard wakes up just in time to hear his daughter delivering a monologue. He momentarily beams, but his smile fades as she abruptly starts taking off her dress in the middle of her speech. She undoes her slip and her garter, as the camera takes it all in. Cue Cosby Eye Roll #4.
And I had my suspicions before, but I’m now 100% certain that Victoria Rowell got breast implants sometime between this movie and Barb Wire. I could show the before and after screencaps, but this isn’t the Superficial, and I’d much rather post a link to her wearing the tackiest dress ever seen on the Emmy red carpet.
As Joan strips, her parents in the audience are looking everywhere but at the stage. The camera, however, misses none of it. Then we see Leonard look back at the stage and wince in pain, because his daughter is now totally naked. Well, naked in that implied, PG-rated way where you know she was really wearing pasties on the set.
In a moment of high comedy, we cut to the curtain call, and Joan is still totally naked when she takes her bow. Hah! But then again, what’s the big deal? It’s not like those babies are gonna smack her in the face when she bends over or anything.
A guy in the audience next to Leonard mouths something I can’t decipher, and Leonard growls back, “That’s my daughter!” Hey, what can we say? Rudy grew up to be hot.
Leonard and Allison head backstage where, for absolutely and utterly no reason on god’s green earth, there’s a huge pile of Lava Soap bars sitting directly across from the dressing room. I’m serious, there’s a pile of at least 200 bars of Lava Soap right in our faces. How dirty do stage actors get, anyway? I’ve seen some really shameless product placement in my day (such as, for instance, earlier in this movie), but this takes the Betty Crocker cake.
Inside the dressing room, Joan is discussing her performance with her castmates. Her parents enter, with Leonard komikally knocking down clothes hangers hooked to the ceiling. Joan asks what they thought, and the two just scowl at her for a while. Giorgio shows up, and Leonard asks to speak to him outside.
As they walk over to the bars of Lava Soap, there’s a stupid bit where Leonard hits his head on a low-hanging sprinkler. Then some other guy passes through the shot, and he too hits his head on the sprinkler. High-larious!
Then there’s another tired bit where Giorgio thinks Leonard is simply upset because “the second act doesn’t quite work”. Leonard says he’s talking about his daughter. Giorgio replies, “Even she can’t help that second act!” Comedy doesn’t get much more by-the-numbers than this, does it?
Before Leonard can say anything else, Giorgio is called back into the dressing room, also hitting his head on the sprinkler, yuk yuk. But peeking out from behind the bars of Lava Soap is none other than Mr. Can You Spare An Eyebrow Mister, quietly spying on Leonard.
Allison comes out, trying to convince Leonard to come in and talk to Joan, but Leonard storms off, knocking bars of LAVA SOAP!! everywhere.
Once he’s out of sight, Mr. No Eyebrows advances on the dressing room, and of course, he too hits his head on the sprinkler. Joke accomplished!
Leonard exits stage door rear, and stares at a poster for the play, which by the way is called Rage for Cousin Jamie. But even that title isn’t as stupid as Leonard Part 6.
Frayn’s VO butts in once again, telling us that after you’ve had experiences with vegetarians and a bullet in your shoulder, the last thing you want to see is your daughter flashing her ta-tas to the world. Or words to that effect. Honestly, this voiceover couldn’t possibly be more useless. I’m actually starting to wonder if Tom Courtenay was paid by the word.