Thursday, August 03, 2006

My favorite retards.

While waiting for a show to come on FX the other day, I had the misfortune of catching the last 10 minutes of the movie Radio, starring Cuba "Snowdogs" Gooding Jr. Normally I love movies about retarded people, but even the hilarity of Cuba (poorly) attempting to play a retarded man was not enough to make this schmoopy, inspirational dreck watchable.

Playing a mentally challenged person is a big gamble for an actor. If done well, it can garner awards and respect. If not, it's going to be a grossly embarrassing failure. Although in my opinion, one consistency of the good and the bad is that they're almost always hilarious. And so, I bring you: my favorite movie 'tards.

Sling Blade: Homicidal Maniac With A Heart Of Gold-Tard
Oh Billy Bob, you had me at French Fried Potaters. Sling Blade taught me that just because a movie about a retarded man is superbly cast, acted and written, that it can't still be totally funny. (Funny ha ha, not funny queer.)

The Other Sister: Fakeout-Tard
One might think, that since Juliette Lewis looks and acts like a person with Downs Syndrome in real life that she would be able to convincingly portray one on film. Not so, my friends! Giovanni Ribisi's acting fared a little better, but paired with the tragedy that is Juliette Lewis and the overall terrible script he was a goner. According to IMDB this movie is categorized as Drama/Comedy/Romance. I'm just not clear on which parts are which. I guess two retarded people having sex to recorded Marching Band music kind of touches on all three.

Stevie: Doc-Tard
Stevie is a documentary about a retarded man living in rural Illinois. It is funny and sad, as exploitation stories about the retarded and unfortunate usually are. The director of this movie (Steve James of Hoop Dreams) was at one time a "Big Brother" to Stevie, and comes back to see what's become of him after a decade gone by. When describing the plot to my mother she asked if what became of Stevie was "good or bad." Well, without spoiling anything, if it was "good," it probably wouldn't make for a very interesting documentary, now would it?

Forrest Gump: Oscar-Tard
I love Tom Hanks and I love Forrest Gump. LOVE! I have nothing snarky to say about this movie whatsoever, and did not laugh at one inappropriate time while watching it. I would say Tom Hanks can do no wrong, but you know... DaVinci Code and all.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape: DiCapr-a-Tard
Oh, what this? A Juliette Lewis flick makes my list again? Coincidence?? I think part of the reason why I love this movie so much is seeing that smug prick DiCaprio playing a poor retarded boy. Titanic who? This is inarguably his best film role to date. This is another example of a movie that's done very well yet still manages to be inappropriately funny. Just looking at DiCaprio's stupid face makes me want to laugh already!


Chris said...

I remember seeing ads for the Other Sister and being quite impressed that the mentally challenged can now capably throw sitcom banter back and forth.

You may soon want to add "Riding the Bus with My Sister," featuring a retarded Rosie O'Donnell, to this list. I haven't seen it but I saw Patton Oswalt on tv commenting on it's very-wrong hilarity once.

litelysalted said...

Oooooh! I forgot about that one! I meant to Netflix that. I really should have put more thought and effort into this post, because I realized this morning that I left out Peter Sellers in "Being There." Oooh! Gard-Tard! Dammit!!!!

Walt said...

Oh.... RADIO sucked so bad. That was a Movie Day selection at work one day a few years ago.It quite possibly was the worst thing anyone has ever asked me to do on the job. It was worse than that time i had to unclog a toilet in the men's room at work... I guess i'm still a little sore over losing two hours of my precious life over that godawful movie...

spankcheeks said...

I personally believe "Radio" to be one of the greatest cinematic endeavors of our time. To say otherwise is a disgrace. A disgrace.

P.S. Also Point Break, Under Siege 1, 2 and 3, and Showgirls. Epic movies. What about all those "retards with hearts of gold"? Surely they deserve accolades too?

spankcheeks said...

By the by --


I will have you "litely salted,"
I will have you with my tea,
I will cover you with hummus
and then I'll set you free.

(Naked, of course. And dripping with hummus. Provided you abide by the rules and don't try to escape or anything.)

Love your blog!