Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Unappreciated Comedy Detected

Friday we watched Without a Clue which we all know so well we can almost say the lines along with the characters. I'm always surprised at how many people have never heard of this comedy much less seen it.

Without a Clue features stellar teamwork by Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley, who are at their best here. Kingsley is Dr. Watson who actually is the genius at deduction. He has written his adventures as stories with a fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, so as to not hurt his chances at being named to a prestigious board. When the stories got so popular that people wanted to meet Holmes he hired actor, Reginald Kincaid to act the part. The problem: Kincaid is a two-bit, drunken, skirt-chasing actor (Caine) which causes no end of trouble and comic delight whenever "Holmes" tries to improvise his way through a case. Watson is ably assisted by Mrs. Hudson and the Baker Street Irregulars who all know that he is the true genius and barely tolerate Holmes' shortcomings.

It is a real delight to watch these two great actors throw themselves into their parts with wonderful comic timing. Caine gets a lot of mileage out of Holmes' efforts to appear a genius. This movie is especially good for any children who understand how twist works on the classic detective stories.

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