Greedy | Chicago Reader

Greedy

Jonathan Lynn, director of Nuns on the Run and My Cousin Vinnie, and Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz, house writers of Ron Howard's production company, collaborate on a Michael J. Fox comedy with lots of twists, about the mad scramble of various members of a family named McTeague (clearly named after the lead character in Erich von Stroheim's Greed) and an English ingenue to win the favor of an aging, cantankerous scrap metal tycoon (Kirk Douglas) and thus inherit his estate when he dies. Part of what keeps one guessing is an ideological obstacle that's kept in the wings but influences the action at every turn: the difficulty, after years of Reaganism, of representing unbridled greed in a Hollywood picture as something less than wholly admirable. While the results yield a few awkward moments, the movie generally exploits this difficulty to its own cynical advantage, and the cast—which also includes Nancy Travis, Olivia d'Abo, Phil Hartman, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., and Colleen Camp—generally whoops it up.

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