Sometimes it is not a good idea to rewatch a film that you really liked from over 25 years ago. Recently I decided to sit down and watch the Mike Myers’ vehicle So I Married an Axe Murderer originally released in 1993. Directed by Thomas Schlamme (directed episodes of House of Cards and The Americans), a man who has been producing and directing since the early 80s, it was a film that featured that typical Myers brand of humour and really tickled my funny bone back in the day. Watching it today in 2018 I have to admit that the humour has not aged well. Not that I did not laugh at all as I did. Mostly when Myers was playing Charlie’s father. Everything is funnier when said in a Scottish accent.
Written by Robbie Fox (Playing for Keeps), it is a rather simple story with a twist. Twenty something Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers – Bohemian Rhapsody, Shrek Forever After) lives in San Francisco and earns his living as a poet. He dates a lot, but they all end when things get a little serious as Charlie is a commitment-phobe. He always finds something wrong with the women he is dating much to the chagrin of his parents, Stuart (Mike Myers) and May (Brenda Fricker – My Left Foot, Veronica Guerin), and his best friend, Tony (Anthony LaPaglia – Annabelle: Creation, Happy Feet).
When Charlie starts dating a butcher named Harriet (Nancy Travis – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 3 Men and a Little Lady) everyone is hopeful as the two really click. That is until he begins to believe that Harriet is Mrs. X, the serial killer who keeps killing her husbands on their honeymoon. After he breaks up with Harriet, Tony, who is a police officer, tells Charlie that a woman (not Harriet) has been arrested as Mrs. X.
Harriet takes Charlie back and soon afterwards they are engaged and get married. After they leave for their honeymoon, Tony finds out that the woman arrested was not the killer. He sends Harriet’s picture around and discovers that she is Mrs. X. Charlie is in danger. After warning Charlie by phone, Tony races to save his friend. it is not going to be easy as a big storm is happening where Charlie and Harriet are.
Silliness reigns here. Expect that and not much else. It has that old school feel to it when it comes to the humour. Unfortunately not timeless, however. Because the humour no longer stands up you begin to see the cracks in the execution of it all. There is a rather B-movie style and look to the film. Which could theoretically work for this type of comedy. Yet somehow it doesn’t. Just feels cheap.
There are a couple of great cameos that happen. Keep your eyes peeled for the fantastic Phil Hartman (from television’s News Radio), Charles Grodin (Midnight Run, Dave), Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction, The Fisher King), Debi Mazar (The Insider, Empire Records), Michael Richards (from television’s Seinfeld), Alan Arkin (Argo, Little Miss Sunshine), and stand up comedian Steven Wright (Natural Born Killers, Resevoir Dogs).
The humour is the focal point of the film and really the only reason for its existence. While it falls flat it is still not as painful a watch as the worst comedy films. There are some laughs to be found. Because of the mass of jokes it is rather like throwing a bunch of spaghetti against the wall hoping some of it sticks. When there is quantity most of the time some of it comes off. You will be worn down by the sheer volume. You will laugh at some points. But you really do have to be a fan of the typical Mike Myers style of comedy.
Despite the fact that this is labelled Special Edition, there are no real special features to speak of. Disappointing.