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Review: Jiminy Glick in La La Wood

There’s no satire here, none of the self-loathing knock ‘em dead showbiz hatred that fuels much of Martin Short’s freaky persona.

Jiminy Glick in La La Wood
Photo: Gold Circle Films

When he first appeared on Martin Short’s short-lived talk show, Jiminy Glick was a very sharp comic character. A donut-chomping, clueless celebrity interviewer, Glick alternated between indifference to his guests and sudden spurts of hostility. When Glick got a short-lived show of his own on Comedy Central, it became clear that Short was using the character to stick it to his betters (Ben Stiller became genuinely uncomfortable when Glick went on about how unfunny Stiller had been on Saturday Night Live). Glick was played as a repressed homosexual whose references to his wife Dixie were about as believable as Corky St. Clair’s talk about his absent wife in Waiting for Guffman. The show reached its height when Glick reenacted Sal Mineo’s murder as a puppet show for children. Glick’s obsession with old Hollywood scandal and increasingly obscure references to completely forgotten actors testified to Short’s own obsession with Hollywood lore. The Glick film Jiminy Glick in La La Wood begins with the Lana Turner/Johnny Stompanato murder as narrated by David Lynch (played by Short). What follows is a horrifically unfunny murder mystery set at the Toronto Film Festival involving Glick and his wife Dixie (Jan Hooks). Short and Hooks have a nice, fast rhythm in their first scenes, but when she starts belching and farting during their hotel breakfast, you know something is wrong. Flatulence is fertile ground to explore in film and literature, but in modern film comedy, it’s a sign of unseemly desperation. In his scenes with Hooks, Short loses the Glick character periodically, and everything that was funny about him gets lost too. Practically every scene looks like it should have been cut. Glick reemerges only when he does a few interviews (he’s especially funny when asking Steve Martin if “the Commies” still pull the strings in Hollywood). But there’s no satire here, none of the self-loathing knock ‘em dead showbiz hatred that fuels much of Short’s freaky persona. Glick, alas, has run out of gas.

Cast: Martin Short, Jan Hooks, Elizabeth Perkins, Janeane Garofalo, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Perkins, Linda Cardellini Director: Vadim Jean Screenwriter: Paul Flaherty, Martin Short, Michael Short Distributor: Gold Circle Films Running Time: 90 min Rating: R Year: 2004 Buy: Video

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