It has taken a few days, but I’m finally getting around to writing about the movie I watched on Saturday. It was one of my favorite comedies “A Fish Called Wanda.” You might have thought, based on past writings, that I don’t watch comedies; but I do. I’m just very particular about what I think is funny. “A Fish Called Wanda ” is very funny!
The story was conceived by John Cleese, who also worked on the screenplay with director Charles Crichton. Most people in the U.S., including me, became aware of Cleese as a member of Monty Python. I also remember hearing recordings of an earlier radio program he had been on, “I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again.” In “A Fish Called Wanda,” Cleese plays barrister Archie Leach. You probably know that Archibald “Archie” Leach was Cary Grant’s birth name.
Fellow Python alum, Michael Palin, plays animal lover Ken Pile who suffers through most of the picture. I love it that he is able to yell “Revenge!” near the end of the movie.
Kevin Kline plays Otto. It seems to me that Kline refuses to be typecast in the roles that he chooses. Otto reads philosophy to prove that he is intelligent. Ah, if only that was all it took. One regret that I have in life is that Kline and I attended Indiana University at the same time, but I never met him. Of course, if we had been in the same degree program…but we had different goals in life.
That brings us to Jamie Lee Curtis. She plays Wanda Gershwitz in this funny caper movie. Every man in the movie wants her to be his love interest, and she plays it for all she is worth. I have to admit that while she is an attractive woman ( the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh after all), I never saw her as a sex symbol…until this film. It was like she could throw a switch and turn on the sex appeal. It amazed me!
So, as always, I’m not giving spoilers, or very much information about the actual picture. I encourage you to watch “A Fish Called Wanda” either for the first time, or as revisiting an old friend.