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The Ladies Man

Starring Tim Meadows, Tiffani Thiessen, Karyn Parsons, Will Ferrell, Lee Evans, Billy Dee Williams
Screenplay by Tim Meadows, Andrew Steele and Dennis McNicholas
Based on the Saturday Night Live character
Directed by Reginald Hudlin

IN SHORT: Not Crap. [Rated R for sexual content and language. 85 minutes]

That In Short summary line refers to an interview Tim Meadows did with NY TV-caster Pat Collins. Asked why this movie was made, Meadows responded "Paramount had some extra money lying around and said 'let's make a crappy movie.'" It's one of those soundbytes you don't forget. That being said, we will admit that The Ladies Man was funnier than we expected. We didn't expect that much.

Leon Phelps (Meadows) is a Chicago DJ who, every morning at 2 am dims the studio lights, fires up some incense, pours a snifter of Couvoisier and dispense advice to the lovelorn. Most of the advice involves going underwear-less at bowling alleys but none of it is delivered in a smarmy fashion. Leon loves the ladies. At last count, his, he's loved hundreds and hundreds of 'em. His sweet and untouched (by him) producer, Julie Simmons (Karyn Parsons) logs the listener complaints and station manager Bucky Kent (Eugene Levy) waits for the day when he can boot Leon's happy face tattooed butt on to the street.

That day comes far too soon for Leon and Julie. Not only must they find another radio station to work for, Leon must avoid the hordes of the VSA -- Victims of the Smiley Ass -- whose website is used to bring together all the husbands and boyfriends who've lost their love due to the ladies' man's ministrations. Led by Lance DeLune (Will Ferrell) and Leon's latest "victim," Barney (Lee Evans), this band of losers delivers the funniest shtick in the movie. Other than that, they serve as a bridge between what would otherwise be five or six segments on the television show from which this flick sprang.

Two things to note about that, from this reviewer's Point of View: Tim Meadows was, hands down, the funniest member of the cast of Saturday Night Live until Lorne Michaels let him out of the "thirty year exclusive contract" he had signed with the show, to move on to another sitcom. Second, his Ladies Man sketches on SNL were painfully unfunny. Third, so are at least half of the movies that have been made based on unfunny SNL. Unfunny, that is.

All that proves is that Cranky can't count. Within the very compact running time of The Ladies Man there are at least two things you should pay attention to. We're not talking about Tiffani Thiessen's breasts, which call attention to themselves without any help from me. No, we're talking of at least two gags that are flat out funny. Out of left field funny and, thankfully, not spilled in the trailer or commercial. Or here.

There are enough surprisingly funny lines in the script -- and Meadows' performance is a lot more sympathetic and funny on the big screen than the small -- to keep us chuckling. And then waiting for long stretches of time for the next gag.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Ladies Man, he would have paid...


Rental for us. Big screen ticket for fans of the sketches on Saturday Night Live.

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.