Wayne’s World Midnight Movie Review
By Bret Dorman
I currently am living with my best friend since 6th grade, Nick. We both grew up in Rochester NY, moved out to Chicago at the same time, and have both taken classes at iO, former stomping grounds of Mike Myers himself. In fact, people who know me, or him, or both of us, know that ‘Bricknet’, something that we ‘promote’, is a combination of his name and mine.
On that note, Wayne and Garth aren’t a comedy duo. They aren’t like Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Farley and Spade, The Sklar Brothers, or Frost and Pegg. They are just two friends. In fact this movie has one of the most honest and accurate portrayal of friendships I’ve seen on film. I speak of my own Bricknet experience and find a lot in common with Wayne and Garth, including our love of Pizza Hut, Doritos, Pepsi-Cola, Nuprin and of course Reebok.
The Story: Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) has a TV show, Wayne’s World, that he runs out of his basement in his Aurora home. His co host Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) is also his best friend and a little… weird (but not mental). Wayne falls for sexy singer Cassandra (Tia Carrere). Trying to exploit Wayne for his show and steal Cassandra from him is the evil TV exec Benjamin Kane (Rob Lowe). Also, there are lots of jokes and cameos.
One of the things you hear a lot about comedies, is you want to be truthful. Mike Myers, who attended classes t iO could tell you this, especially since the must-read book they give you for free in level one is called Truth in Comedy. Most of the best recent comedies have also been good dramas or have a solid emotional core at its center (Knocked up, Bridesmaids). With Wayne’s World however, the movie follows and spoofs traditional formulaic Hollywood storytelling. They even give you three endings, two of which are highly exaggerated versions of a ‘sad’ ending and a ‘happy’ ending. The third having an unmasking of an uncanny live action version of a Scooby Doo villain.
What Wayne’s World lacks in its truthiness, it more than makes up for in its jokes. Jokes that range from breaking the 4th wall (only Wayne and Garth (and occasionally Glen) talk to the camera), a sub title joke (one sentence running on while the character’s wait), physical humor (Ex-Girlfriend Stacy’s various prat falls), silly cross-dressing humor (Happy Birthday Mr. President), fish out of water gags (learning the hand count), and general Garth Weirdness (anything involving Garth). The movie feels more like a giant skit with several ‘Best of’ moments. Only the best jokes made it into this movie, not just any joke for the sake of having jokes. The only thing unfunny about Wayne’s World is its imitators, who are disingenuous and misguided.
So how is Wayne’s World genuine in the midst of its array of jokey jokes? Through its love of music, we get cameos by Frank DiLeo (Music Producer) as Frankie Sharp, Meatloaf as The Bouncer Tiny, and Alice Cooper as himself. The denying of playing Stairway to Heaven is something I didn’t understand in my youth, but makes sense now. The infamous Bohemian Rhapsody car ride is pure movie magic. You’ll notice the end of the opening credits (Directed by Penelope Spheeris) cues the start of Bohemian Rhapsody. Normal movies would dilute the Queen song that plays over Aurora sites while Wayne, Garth & Co lip synch along and head bang their way through the epic track. But not Wayne’s World, which highlights the song like it would any one of its jokes. Also, speaking of ‘authenticity’, the bike cop cameo may be one of the best, most unexpected cameos I’ve ever seen.
The Wayne and Garth friendship is an odd one. Wayne’s goals and aspiration’s are easily relatable (wants to party and be famous and get paid to be on TV). But Garth seems to shy away from the spotlight (love the Scanners reference and Garth’s face during it). Wayne may be a character we can sympathize with, but not necessarily aspire to be. Upon getting his five grand he buys a guitar, a cd player for the car that plays via the cassette deck (and he is still proud of its ‘coolness’) and a in car licorice dispenser. Garth’s coolest moments are when he shocks the rude guy who shoved him at Gasworks, lays out the Mission:Impossible plan, and sings Foxy during a fantasy dream sequence. Garth never complains about his situation (the only time Wayne does the movie threatens to leave him, so he apologizes and stops) and Wayne has this weird ability to always have things work out in his favor. These characters might not be ‘cool’, but their honesty to each other has us laughing with them, not at them. Plus, the ass-sphincters, psycho hose beasts, and everyone else who is just plain mental are much worse.
Why You Must See It At Midnight: Let’s face it, midnight is pretty late. Sometimes, being sleep deprived can make things funnier, but any down time in a movie can mean accidentally falling asleep in public. Wayne’s World has no slack. It’s got a joke a minute, and you can bet Bricknet will be at Music Box (on Saturday) to enjoy all 94 of them.
Party on Midnight Movie Goers!