A Fine Mess (1986)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Odd Couple Film, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Aug 9, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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This late-period venture into screwball comedy isn't Blake Edwards's finest moment: the comedic highs are spaced a little too far for the film to cohere and it runs out of steam when it should be building up to manic heights in the third act. That said, A Fine Mess offers some little pleasures for comedy fans: Ted Danson and Howie Mandel make an engaging comedic team, gliding through the slim storyline with ease, and Stuart Margolin and Richard Mulligan give them a run for the money as a slapstick-prone pair of bumbling crooks. Edwards's direction sometimes flags in the pacing department but he structures the individual gags with skill and the results frequently get a laugh: highlights include Danson and Mandel's attempts to dodge the crooks while placing a bet and Mandel's slow-burn reaction to some unexpectedly spicy Indian food. The end result is a film of modest pleasures and this makes A Fine Mess a pleasant enough way for fans of old-school comedy to kill an afternoon.