Leonard Part 6 (1987) (part 7 of 15)
For no reason, we get a flashback clip of Allison’s lips inviting Leonard to dinner, and then random shots of Leonard jumping on his bed. Then, another shot of him kissing Frayn. Because we really needed more footage of Leonard kissing Frayn.
The camera pans down from a big wall mural of Cosby, where Leonard has a cream mask on, cucumbers on his eyes, and four blondies are giving him manicures and pedicures. And one of the women looks directly into the camera as it passes in front of her. Way to go, blondie. You had one stupid fifteen-second appearance, and you couldn’t even get that right.
As all four women with their big ‘80s hair each file away at their own appendage, they look beside themselves at getting to hold Bill Cosby’s feet.
More useless shots of Frayn picking out ties in the big wardrobe room follow. Frayn then enters the Manicure Room and plucks a cucumber off Leonard’s eye to show him a tie, but Leonard just shakes his head.
Cut to Leonard doing aerobics to a video, while Frayn continues to yell at him through the golden megaphone. Because silence is golden, and so is obnoxious noise. Wait, so Leonard is working out to get in shape in time for the dinner with Allison… which is happening the following night? Oh, right, that’s the “joke”.
And since this is the ‘80s, the video that Leonard is exercising to is The Jane Fonda Workout. Jane works out on Leonard’s TV, and in the middle of the video, she actually says, “Come on, Leonard, get your back into it!” So, either Jane Fonda is like Big Brother and she can see when Comrade Leonard isn’t doing his calisthenics, or this was a video that Jane made especially for Leonard. So, um, just how secret of an agent is he supposed to be, again?
Also, Jane says, “Come on, Leonard, can’t you get it up?” Ouch. Ixnay on the sexual ysfunction-day. Don’t you know he hasn’t been with a woman in seven years?
Abruptly, the screen switches to static, and Joe Don Baker’s face appears. Holy god! That would be enough to make me work out ten times harder, just so I don’t end up looking like that. Leonard stops and says, “How’d he get on this tape?” Come on, Leonard, it’s The Joe Don Baker Workout!
As Snyderburn somehow breaks into a VHS tape to speak to Leonard, the screen shows a computer graphic of what he calls “the Sphere”, a mini-Death Star-looking object containing three parallel tubes of blue, red, and green.
Snyderburn says the Sphere is kept inside the tuna factory, and the screen switches to a schematic of the factory where all the rooms are assigned letters of the alphabet. The Sphere is kept in the room labeled “B”, and just remember that for the surely high comedic payoff that’s right around the corner.
Snyderburn says he wants Leonard to retrieve the Sphere. He desperately tells Leonard, “You can do it!” Then the picture switches back to Jane Fonda doing ab crunches and saying, “Come on, you can do it!” See the ironic juxtaposition? See it?
Cut to Frayn turning on a shower. But the shower handles are labeled Evian, Perrier, and Calistoga, ha ha. Leonard is in the shower (shot from the waist up, thankfully), peering out and turning his nose up at more ties that Frayn shows him.
Then Leonard is putting on talcum powder and aftershave, and Bill Cosby is furiously mugging for the camera. He parades every facial trick in the Cosby Repertoire, everything from the “roll eyes upwards with contented smile” look from all those Pudding Pop ads, to the “flopping his mouth around” maneuver, to the “tight smile while looking mortified”. Collect ‘em all!
After picking out flowers with a really gay guy in a pillbox hat (don’t ask), Leonard is checking himself out in a mirror in his new suit. Which, I admit, looks pretty nice. Of course, when the costuming is the only thing I’m admiring about a movie, that’s a bad sign.
In the wardrobe room, Frayn is picking the last of the ties off the rack. At long last, Leonard sees a tie he likes. It’s a purple and blue thing with white splotches all over it. It doesn’t look that good, but it also doesn’t look bad enough to make this an obvious joke, so I don’t know what they were going for with this extended tie business.
Leonard tightens the tie, then puts on Dick Tracy’s hat. Why is he wearing a white hat with a dark suit? Come on, movie, I was on your side with the costuming thing until just now!
Leonard and Frayn run downstairs in lockstep, and when they reach the bottom they both jump over the last step, which is almost amusing. But also, quite random and pointless. And here, at long last, the Peabo Bryson song fades out and the “picking out clothes” montage ends, at least until the next C. Thomas Howell movie.
Leonard and Frayn head out to the Rolls, and as the car pulls out of the driveway, another useless voiceover from Frayn tells us how happy Leonard is. He explains that Leonard moved away “as far as he possibly could” from his wife (wait for it…). He says he and Leonard both kept quiet during the “agonizing ride to her house” (wait for it…).
As it turns out, the joke is that the wife’s house is half a block away from Leonard’s house. See, they got into a car and drove for half a block before stopping. Isn’t that hilarious? Isn’t that the very essence of comedy? She lives right down the street from him! Laugh, dammit, or I’ll send Joe Don Baker to your house to personally drink all your beer.
Leonard rings the doorbell and is happily greeted by the maid and butler. The butler, a guy named Duchamp, leads Leonard inside, saying how much he’s missed him. Duchamp makes totally pointless chatter about his dog dying, then says he hopes to see Leonard at breakfast, wink wink. Wow, Leonard gets it on with all the butlers, doesn’t he?
Duchamp leaves and Leonard checks out the dinner table, which is surrounded by more candles than in that Police video. Oh, and apparently the joke here is that there’s like, a lot of flowers all around the table, and they’re the same type of flowers that Leonard brought. It took several viewings before I even realized there was a joke here.
Allison enters, and she’s quite an attractive woman, but somewhat eyebrow-deficient herself. And I still have no idea why they tried to generate suspense over her appearance with that phone conversation where we only saw her lips.
Leonard and Allison compliment each other’s attire, then she meaningfully tells Leonard to sit in “[his] chair” as Duchamp wheels in dinner. And then we get sound effect humor as the dinner cart squeaks loudly. To match the creaky jokes, I guess. Allison tells Duchamp that she’ll be serving dinner herself tonight, and asks that they not be disturbed. Duchamp gives Leonard a sly wink and exits.
Allison starts to sound conciliatory. Cut to Duchamp and the maid eavesdropping at the kitchen door, and Duchamp flashes the OK sign. Allison pours Leonard a glass of wine, but she moves her hand ever so slightly, causing it to spill on Leonard’s cuff. Oh boy. Here we go.
She apologizes, then begins ladling soup into his bowl. She says she was hurt when “that incident occurred”, and as she delivers this line, she pours the soup directly onto Leonard’s shoulder and all the way down his sleeve. Cut to the maid and Duchamp giving each other looks.
You see, Allison is spilling food on Leonard by “accident”, much the same way Billy Joel crashes his car by “accident”. It seems she’s still angry at Leonard, so she invited him to dinner purely as a pretense to pouring food all over him and making him look like an idiot. That’s the joke. What were you expecting? Something funny?