Monday, August 1, 2011

Something Wild

A straight and narrow tax accountant and family man (Jeff Daniels) pockets the check in an NYC diner and is caught by an impulsive young woman (Melanie Griffith), who offers him a ride back to the office. Instead the two embark on a spontaneous road trip where the two fall in love, engage in acts of petty crime, and return to her hometown where they visit her mother and attend a 10 year high school reunion where they pose as a married couple. At this point things take a violent turn as the woman’s husband (Ray Liotta) enters the picture, having just being sprung from the joint. Adept director Jonathon Demme’s Something Wild is an offbeat kinetic love story, the likes of which is not seen in today’s cinema. Made during the apex of 1980s greed, it also strives to be a condemnation yuppie culture. The actors fit well into their roles and are played conviction and likability. Daniels sincerity helps us empathize with his character’s situations and decisions. Griffith, with her girllike voice and Pandora’s Box wig (she even introduces herself as Lulu) make her character brazenly sexy and sympathetic at the same time. Finally, Ray Liotta is a particular standout in his first major role as a psychotic yet somehow charming ex-con and that trademark sinister laugh. Something Wild is a true original and a film that dared to break the mold of factory made Hollywood love stories.