Elvis has Left the Building


Director: Joel Zwick

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Kim Basinger is a lonely dissatisfied but very successful Pink Lady cosmetics representative who drives from Tennessee through Texas to Nevada in a pink cadillac making sales-pitches selling Pink Lady franchises.

The high point of her life was when she was a little girl who met Elvis Presley. She prays to her lord & master, Elvis, to help her find meaning in life. A disturbing curse falls upon her: Everytime she encounters an Elvis impersonator, some horrible but often comical accident causes his death.

Fate is drawing her to a big Elvis impersonator contest in Vegas, a chance for her curse to kill a couple thousand impersonators all in one swell foop. As she speeds across the Southwest, she is playing something of a game of touch-tag with John Corbett, whose harriden wife is an Elvis impersonator. Because the miscast Denise Richards cannot actually do an Elvis impersonation, the chance for a funny scene with a girl Elvis is forsworn. Quite often in the script the chance for real comedy is missed & something not funny is done instead.

Elvis as God is using the Pink Lady to rid the world of embarrassing insulting eyesoar Elvises & will simultaneously bless the Pink Lady with a soul mate. If there's any cheap shot guaranteed to get a laugh from some of us, it's cruelty to yappy poodles or Elvis impersonators, so the film doesn't actually have to be very funny to score a few laughs, & for that ungenerous reason I quite liked the film.

Yet the script doesn't always quite actually comprehend the difference between unfunny cruelty & black comedy. So the idea for the film was a lot better than the badly written script & forced execution.

Not everyone will agree any of it is funny, as the idea that the spirit of Elvis might be a mass-murderer is pretty offensive. Without any actual joke the script even assumes it's a amusing to just kill the married hero's wife so that he is free to drive off with the heroine to live happily ever after.

Still, as trivial no-budget lightweight comedy romances go, this one's a little bit charming, moderately goofy, a bit sicko, worth a couple of chuckles, & a lot more eccentric than usually encountered.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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