Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Breaking All The Rules (1985)

Breaking all the Rules (1985)
Directed by James Orr
Starring Carl Marotte, Carolyn Dunn, Rachel Hayward
Rated R

"Just relax. And be heavy."

I would just like to say that even though I very much enjoy films that take place in amusement parks (Carny, The Funhouse, Rollercoaster, etc), I never liked actually going to them. I get terrible motion sickness, so the rides are out, and the goddamn games are clearly rigged. I remember spending hours in the summer of ’81 trying to win a Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell mirror at one of those booths where you shoot water in a clown’s mouth until the balloon pops and the balloon never fucking popped, no matter how much I tried to drown the clown. And most of the time you win something that’s impossible to lug around successfully anyway, like a giant banana or a goldfish. Also, how are you supposed to meet girls there? You don’t look very cool puking or lugging around a banana. But I digress. Breaking All The Rules is a fun, frothy teen romp made in Canada by an innocuous director known mostly, if at all, for writing Three Men and a Baby and Sister Act 2. He’s clearly not into confrontational or controversial filmmaking, and you are not gonna get it here. What you do get is an hour and a half of breezy summer fun and a couple fetching young Canadian lasses to ogle. Which is alright with me.

You should know at the beginning that there's a raffle going down in a few days at the Fun Park. The  winner gets a $50,000 diamond, which I can’t really see happening, even at a funpark in Canada in the mid 80's. Our hero, Jack (Carl Marotte, who was probably 25 at the time, but has the muggy face of an old Jewish comedian from the Vaudeville days), works at the park as a maintenance man, and often spends a good portion of his morning fantasizing about all the chicks he'd bang if he had that diamond. He should have been paying more attention because  on this fateful day, a trio if slimeball thieves – a fat stooge, a butchy chick in stretchpants, and a ringleader who looks just like Wile E Coyote - steal the fuckin' diamond. The alarm goes off, so they sew it into the belly of a stuffed mouse and tack it up at one of the midway games, planning on getting it later. I know, that's an idiot fuckin’ idea, but that's the way we did things in the 80's.

But never mind all of that, because its the last day of the summer, and Jack is determined to make the most of it. Across town, so does Debbie (Carolyn Dunn), a ridiculously hot blonde from the upscale side of town who is having an identity crisis. Later on it will be somewhat important to know she's wearing "I Love U" underwear, which is why we meet her ass first. No complaints here.

Anyway, Jack sees her flashing her panties in the street and is smitten, but at the time he's accidentally crashing some stranger’s car, so who knows if he'll ever see her again?

After the car accident – he accidentally runs over the diamond thief - Jack buys a dicknose mask from his favorite joke shop and then heads over to his buddy David's house to cheer him up.

David (Thor Bishopric) is kind of a drip.

Meanwhile, we meet Angie (Rachel Hayward) and her perky Canadian boobs.

She eventually gets dressed and heads out to meet Debbie, who chopped off her hair and is now sporting the most 80's fake punk look imaginable.

All four end up on the bus and they're all into each other, although really the girls are both into Jack and he has no idea the phony punk chick is the I Love U underwear girl. And anyway, they blow it on the bus because they're all teenage idiots. So what the hell, they go to Fun Park. Its got an “F and U and K in it”, after all.

Cue the amusement park antics montage over the title AOR jam by one Paul Booth. it's pretty awesome/horrible, as Canadian AOR jam soften are.

For some reason this fun park has a burlesque show, so Jack takes David backstage to see some boobs. Then they climb down a drain under a water fountain so they can see up girls' skirts. Good times.

Jack goes to see his boss Charlie (Walter Massey) to get his last check. Charlie’s guzzling booze because somebody stole the fuckin’ diamond and now he might have to go out of business. Clearly, it’s up to Jack to save the day. But first, you know, chicks.

The fellas run into Debbie and Angie again and Jack wows ‘em by winning stuffed mice for both of them. Guess which one Debbie gets? The guys think they’ve got this one in the bag, but Angie has a sudden change of heart and gives them both the kiss-off. So wait, you can’t win a girl’s heart with ugly stuffed animals? Alert all men immediately.

Oh hey, remember the rat-faced jewel thief and his motley crew? They're back. And they want that mouse. But which one is the right one? How did this foolproof plan go awry? Fuck it, they just buy them all and start tearing them open, looking for the diamond. And they can't find it! So they skulk around the park, snatching every stuffed mouse they see and ripping it open.

Meanwhile, things are not going well in the summer romance department. Angie's with Jack, and she hates him. Debbie's with David, and she hates him. It's a summer bummer. Eventually they figure out their incompatibility issues and Jack finally gets to make out with somebody. Debbie's down to bone him right there, behind a tree, but it turns out he doesn't actually know how to have sex. That’s weird. Don’t they have health class in Canada?  To be fair, he’s supposed to be 16. He just looks 37. Plus, his zipper’s broke.  Debbie tries to open it with her teeth. Jack is in way over his head with this kooky chick.

Meanwhile, David and Angie ride the merry go round and lament the fact that they're both  virgins. They're actually having a pretty good time until her old boyfriend Vince, you know, the football king or whatever, shows up and snatches her away. Bummer, dude.

But wait, then she comes back! And so do the goodtimes. Thank Christ. Cue amusement park antics montage number two.

Oh yeah, the diamond. Debbie hits the bad guy in the face with her mouse for threatening Angie and David, and the diamond tumbles to the ground. Jack grabs it and takes off with Debbie, the jewel thieves hot on their trail. As they climb up the fire escape of a building to get away, Jack sees Deb’s underwear and realizes she's the same girl from this morning! Swoon! But then they fall off the fuckin’ building and they both die. The end.

No, they land on a trampoline and haul ass out of there. Why is there a trampoline next to the building? Fun Park, motherfucker!

I dunno what happens, the bad guys get the diamond again somehow, and Jack gets arrested for the crime. It’s up to mousy David and the girls to get the diamond back from the creeps and clear their bud’s name and save Charlie's bacon using every Scooby Doo-esque amusement park gag you can think of.

Do they do it? Maybe. Probably. I'll tell you this much: breakdancing is involved. And balloons and confetti and making out. But that was always happening in 1985, even at funerals or executions.

As hazy and breezy as day at the beach, Breaking All the Rules is aided greatly by the easy charm of its four young leads and the dreamy backdrop of the amusement park with all its bells, whistles, calliopes, and clopping merry-go-round horses. Even with the shoe-horned diamond thieves’ subplot, it rides on a wave of sunny optimism. You know from the first frame that everything’s gonna turn out alright, and everyone’s gonna get laid. This is the sort of summer adventure you always hope to have. It’s not the one you’ll get – I mean, nobody even fuckin’ sweats in this movie – but, you know, don’t stop believin’.

Not liking this move is like not liking boobs or ice cream, it’s just impossible. Ding!

- Ken 

Stacey says:
This movie is a lot like cotton candy... sweet, light and fluffy. A crazy 80's caper, antics, bad haircuts and good times for all (except the diamond thieves). Ding!

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