Meet Wally Sparks

It's hard not to think something feminist might be going on in this blue comedy: breasts and female asses are mentioned a lot less frequently than penises and male asses, and the only actresses who take any of their clothes off are middle-aged. Anyway, the movie seems to want to parody trash media but soon abandons the idea to pursue less cerebral pleasures. Rodney Dangerfield (who cowrote with Harry Basil) is Wally Sparks, a trash-TV host with a son who's decidedly not a chip off the old block. David Ogden Stiers is a politician whose son retaliates against him by becoming a Sparks fan. This all leads to several cloying father-son moments, which are nicely isolated by incidental music that puts the corny plot in its place. Excellent pacing enables the filmmakers to deliver an impressively controlled chaos, especially in the adeptly shot and edited finale. Directed by Peter Baldwin.

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