A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Comedy, Farce, Caper  |   Release Date - Jul 15, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Matthew Doberman

One of the best black comedies of the 1980s, A Fish Called Wanda revels in poking fun at stereotypes: neither British nor Americans are ever completely off the hook. Representing the Yanks, Jamie Lee Curtis finally received a role worthy of her ample comic sensibilities, and Kevin Kline's antagonistic wackiness secured him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. For the Brits, scene-stealer Michael Palin and lead/co-scripter John Cleese display a wit and spontaneity not seen since their Monty Python years. Co-writer/director Charles Crichton had previously proven his skills with the classic 1951 crime farce The Lavender Hill Mob, and Wanda is every bit the classic that film was. Lampooning as many sacred cows as it does, Wanda is bound to put off some viewers; but it's hard to take too much offense at a film where all the characters eventually get theirs.