movie film review | chris tookey

City Slickers

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  City Slickers Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
7.57 /10
Billy Crystal , Daniel Stern , Bruno Kirby
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Directed by: Ron Underwood
Written by: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel

Released: 1991
Origin: US
Length: 112

Three men from the city go on a back-to-nature, cattle-driving holiday to "find themselves".
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The same idea lay behind John Boorman's Deliverance, but here it's handled as comedy. Billy Crystal’s middle-age crisis speech to a schoolroom of perplexed nine year-olds is a great moment in modern movies, and manages to make Jacques's "Seven ages of man" speech in As You Like It seem comparatively optimistic.

The relationship between Crystal and his wife (Patricia Wettig, who played Nancy in the TV series thirtysomething ) is marvellously written and played, on a knife-edge between comedy and tragedy. The uneasy relationship between the three men is funnier but no less truthful.

Some of the humour is a bit broad - Stern's wife, for instance, is too monstrous to be wholly credible; the verbal wit of the first hour gradually gives way to rather less inspired visual gags; and the ending doesn't so much teeter on the edge of sentimentality, as plunge headlong into it. Still, like Thelma and Louise, this is an inventive, highly enjoyable variation on the buddy-buddy movie. The story could reasonably be accused of being "mechanical", but only in the way that a Rolls Royce is mechanical: it's elegantly designed and immaculately crafted.

“City Slickers was a hit all over the world - except in France. I couldn’t figure out why till they told me that they changed the title to La Vie, L’Amour et Les Vaches which means Life, Love and Cows.”

(Billy Crystal)

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