Leonard Part 6 (1987) (part 6 of 15)
So, back to the CIA agent sitting in his car. He looks kind of like James Cromwell, but he’s not James Cromwell, obviously. There’s a shot of his rear tire as a frog hops into view. The frog ribbits, and suddenly a few more frogs hop into view. And then a few more. You may be tempted to guess where this is going, but believe me, you won’t guess where this is going.
The agent is too wrapped up in listening to his audio surveillance and taking pictures to notice that there are now dozens of frogs hopping around behind his car. It’s all very much like that scene at the end of Magnolia, only without Tom Cruise crying.
Once again, Mr. Eyebrow-Deficient is on the scene. He pokes his head out of a nearby guard booth as even more frogs hop under the agent’s car, constantly ribbiting. Inside the car, the agent, listening attentively to his earpiece, begins writing on his notepad: “Gribbit Gribbit”. Hilarious.
Back to Mr. Sans Eyebrows, who yells into a phone, “Quelish!” There’s an ominous close-up on a frog, and a second later, the agent’s entire car bounces up in the air.
You read that right. The frogs have all gathered beneath the agent’s car and are actually lifting it up and bouncing it across the pavement. There’s a poorly done greenscreen model shot of the car getting bounced across the pier, then tossed over the railing and into the water.
As the car splashes down, Medusa watches from a window in the factory and cackles evilly. Then there’s a shot of the agent struggling against his window as the car sinks. Comedy gold!
So which is the worst case scenario: Trapped in a sinking car, or trapped in this sinking movie?
There’s a final ribbit to end the scene, and then it’s back to Leonard’s house. He’s lying in bed, holding a framed picture of his wife to his chest, and listening to R&B slow jams. Frayn knocks on the door, saying he has Leonard’s “nightcap” ready. Well, I certainly hope he brought enough to share with everyone watching this.
The two men discuss Leonard’s daughter and go over again how much Leonard misses his wife. Leonard says he hasn’t been with another woman in the seven years since his wife left him, and thanks for letting us know. I’ll be sure to file that information under “T” for “Too Much”.
Then it comes out that Mrs. Parker found Leonard naked in a sauna with a 19 year old. Frayn recalls how they were “switching each other with birch leaves.” Birch leaves? The hell? Did Leonard’s wife walk in on them in Finland? Leonard says he never put a hand on the girl. “No, sir,” Frayn says. “Just the birch leaves!”
The conversation comes back around to his daughter, and Leonard suddenly gets a bright idea: He’s going to call his wife to talk about his daughter wanting to marry Giorgio. Any excuse to talk to her, you see. Frayn repeats the idea and also refers to Giorgio as “Sergio”, in a weak continuation of a weak gag.
Leonard calls his wife right then and there, even though it’s two in the morning. He says, “Allison?” As they talk, there are random shots of Frayn picking up clothes and then tossing them back down. I guess the joke is that he’s just stalling for time so he can eavesdrop. I mean, it is a joke, at least in the technical sense of the word.
Cut to the other end of the phone call. Allison is in bed, but during this call all we’re shown is the lower half of her face. I have no idea why. Especially since we clearly see her later on. It’s like they’re trying to generate suspense about her identity like she’s really Kayser Soze or somebody.
Leonard babbles to his wife, revealing that he’s about “to explode” (no doubt, after seven years), and that he wants to “jump off of a building”. I know the feeling! Allison finally shuts him up by inviting him to dinner at her house the next night, and then she quickly hangs up.
Leonard is so ecstatic about this that he kisses Frayn. On the lips. No, seriously. This film is not shy about busting down all kinds of taboos, is it?
And then, in case you’ve forgotten this is an ‘80s movie, a drum machine starts up, and somebody incessantly presses one key on a synthesizer. That’s right, it’s time for a musical “picking out the right clothes for a date” montage! Am I crazy, or did every comedy in the ‘80s have a scene just like this?
As you’d expect, most of this montage is pretty pointless. It’s obviously been tossed together to showcase a Peabo Bryson song on the soundtrack, and how sad is that? Though, I suppose it could have been worse and we could be enduring something by Ray Parker, Jr. or the Pointer Sisters. Peabo’s fine. I’ll take Peabo. Also, I like saying “Peabo”.
Cut to a shirtless Leonard, standing in a large wardrobe room with his arms around two Asian tailors, telling them exactly what kind of suit he wants. I’m assuming it’s still two in the morning, so apparently, Leonard has two old Asian tailors living with him.
Next, Leonard’s on a treadmill, sweating and letting his mouth flap around in that fish-flopping way only Bill Cosby can do. Frayn coaches him while sitting on a nearby exercise bike and yelling at him through a megaphone. And it’s a solid gold megaphone. So Leonard evidently has the same tastes as Richie Rich.
Cut to Leonard with a half-finished suit on, while Frayn shows him ties. One of the old Asian tailor guys yells “Haiii-yah!” and rips off Leonard’s sleeve. Great. Not only a crude ethnic stereotype, but astoundingly unfunny. It’s amazing how much this movie can accomplish at once.
Next, Leonard is working out in an Adidas shirt. Welcome back to the site, Adidas, we sure did miss you. We remember your brand well from other films and videos. And I’m guessing the sight of Bill Cosby in a belly shirt and tight stretch pants is supposed to be screamingly funny. And it is! Well, the screaming part, anyway.
Now begins a sub-segment of the montage that I’ll call the Peabo Bryson Cavalcade of Self-Pampering. Leonard is in a barber’s chair getting shaved by Frayn (his face, you perverts, though after that kiss I can see how your minds might go in the gutter). A mailman enters with a letter, and it’s an “eyes only” memo from the government, so Leonard crumples it up and tosses it in the trash. He should have done that with the script.