All of Me (1984)

Genres - Comedy, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Comedy  |   Release Date - Sep 21, 1984 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Steve Martin was honored with several critic's awards for his portrayal of a lawyer with the soul of a jazz musician who gets inhabited by the soul of a dead millionaire (Lily Tomlin) after a botched spiritual transference. Martin has a lot of fun with the slapstick built into the script, which frequently involves his body convulsing in different directions, with the right side controlled by Tomlin's character and constantly at odds with the left. It's a deft performance, and it lays the groundwork for some of the future work of physical comedians like Jim Carrey. But All of Me also sometimes feels like a one-joke movie, and in pursuit of that one joke, the details of the plot get shortchanged. Among the noticeable gaffes is that a memorial service is held for Tomlin's character only hours after she dies -- no wonder nobody shows up. Tomlin is a little flat, rare for one of film's most gifted comics, and Martin indulges too often in the sort of cheap sentiment that's been known to afflict his work. He goes from despising the woman who possesses his body one minute, to dewy-eyed compassion the very next. Still, the movie's gut-busting moments earn it a high recommendation, and it contains astute observations about the differences between the sexes that were funny in groundbreaking ways in 1984. The fourth consecutive (and, so far, last) collaboration between Martin and director Carl Reiner, All of Me keeps the hit streak going.