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A FISH CALLED WANDA
December 3, 2019  | By David Bianculli

Cinemax, 9:25 p.m. ET

 
On a very slow viewing evening – so slow this is tonight’s only entry in Bianculli’s Best Bets – Cinemax saves the day, or at least the night, by showing this riotous 1988 comedy from Monty Python member John Cleese. The former Fawlty Towers star gives himself the essential straight man role here, playing a tightly wound and reserved British lawyer who finds himself involved with a small den of nefarious lawbreakers. His befuddled reaction shots are hilarious, and so are his cartoonishly drawn, comically brave co-stars, each of whom makes A Fish Called Wanda a classic film comedy. There’s Jamie Lee Curtis, who undoes Cleese’s stuffy demeanor with her brazen aggressiveness; Kevin Kline, who plays a vindictive, stupid small-time villain; and Michael Palin, also of Monty Python, who goes all out as a stuttering, inept, animal-killing bad guy, tortured, at one point, by his fellow criminal. No one is safe in this film – and that goes for the little dogs, too. And, especially, for the fish.
 
 
 
 
 
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