[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
O.C. and Stiggs
Adventures in upper middle class suburbia.
O.C. and Stiggs aren't your average unhappy teenagers. They not only despise their suburban surroundings, they plot against it. They seek revenge against the middle class Schwab family, who embody all they detest: middle class. |
O.C. and Stiggs is like the retarded step-brother of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas inasmuch as it deals with two reckless and dimwitted loafers who derive enjoyment from tooling the main drag in search of something to destroy - except they're not hammered 24/7. Their quest: exacting glorious, catastrophic revenge on the American middle class, which is epitomized by the Schwab family.
Ironically, O.C. and Stiggs suffers from the same problem that Fear and Loathing does: length. It starts off on a good foot and continues that way for a solid hour, keeping the gags and their accompanying laughter coming, but then, after the titular characters arrive back home from a trip to Mexico, the story sort of peters…
Yes, it is as bad as I had heard. What happened Altman? The horror, the horror...
Teenage wasteland U.S.A.:
Fail what you are,
Be who you must.
Read more at "The Completist: Robert Altman."
Embarrassing Altman comedy from the 80's and is one of his worst pictures. Two friends O.C. and Stiggs get back at the family of the owner of an insurance company after they cancel the policy of Stiggs' Grandfather. The film is a series of pranks with very little context. You also wonder what enjoyment the two friends get out of them and how they don't get caught. Film is very un-P.C. with jokes about the poor and gays. In the end, it's a pointless exercise with an eclectic cast in a weird yet decidedly 80's film. There's some cardboard characterizations like Jane Curtin's boozy wife of the Insurance owner (played very unsympathetically by Paul Dooley). There's the sex crazed swinger…
This is generally an overlooked entry in Altman's filmography, but it definitely feels of a piece with his best 70's work, something that can't be said about much of his output past 1980's A Wedding.
O.C. and Stiggs comes from a pretty lowbrow source but at some juncture got stuffed with a bunch of kooky stuff:
- King Sunny Ade
- Melvin Van Peebles as Wino Bob
- Dustin Hoffman as himself/the photojournalist from Apocalypse Now
- birds and bird poop (something that connects this to Brewster McCloud
- Hal Philip Walker (something that connects this to Nashville
It's sort of mean-spirited and anarchic but in a very loveable way (see MASH) and there's awesome overlapping audio/dialogue throughout.
A failed attempt by Robert Altman to take on (or take the piss out of) the 80's teen comedy.
The thing is, there's actually some interesting things going on in O.C. and Stiggs. Altman clearly has something to say about American conservatism and the bourgeoisie, and injecting a comedy with this commentary is a bold move. The problem is that the commentary is pretty heavy handed with the evil Schwab family being overtly racist or overtly stupid or overtly hypocritical.
The bigger problem is that O.C. and Stiggs are detestable characters. I'm not sure how conscious of a move that was because it seems like they are suppose to be closer to a pair of Ferris Buellers: smart-assed connivers who…
Robert Altman's notion of a teen comedy skewers American consumerism and the me-first ideology.
But of course it does.
O.C. and Stiggs are two teenagers who've devoted their summer to tormenting the Schwab clan, the patriarch of which runs an insurance business... an insurance business that screwed O.C.'s grandfather (maybe it was Stiggs, either way it's irrelevant) out of a settlement. Bill and Ted with a socio-political conscience. Subverts genre like an Altman. Slyly funny like an Altman. Poignant and timely for 1985.
So why is this movie considered such a stinker?
I had my reservations about Robert Altman doing a teen/fratboy comedy going in and for the most part I think I was right. Altman's slow and calculated style just doesn't translate well into this type of humor. Its not all his fault either though, the script is mostly incoherent and uninteresting and feels like a series of slightly amusing gags/skits strung together loosely to form a movie. It doesn't help that either OC or Stiggs aren’t very memorable as characters either. The best thing about this movie is the Dennis Hopper cameo.
comedy shaped but not actually funny.
Crazy. Don't know if I loved it or hated it. Never really fits together, but I'm not sure I care.
One of Altman's most forwardly entertaining films, had me cracking up several times through. Loved the Apocalypse Now reference.
The Most insane thing I have seen from Altman.
Robert Altman making a teenage sex comedy. Well, this is what the studio thought he was making, but in reality, he was making a satire on the genre. The thing about satire, is that you have to understand the foundation and be smart than the average person to get it. I guess, the studio fell into the bottom sector, because this is one of Altman's biggest flops.
Is it a great movie? No, but there are some good things going for it. Dennis Hopper, and Martin Mull hit home runs here, while the entire Schwab family strike-out. It fun to see an incredibly young Jon Cryer, but I can't tell if he playing someone with a mental deficiency or just…
Lobster, lobster, give me the news, I got a bad case of the O.C. and Stiggs Blues. (In other words, I really, really enjoy the desert acid-bake of this one.)
Exasperating 80's teen comedy ostensibly parodying teen 80s teen comedies and with a whole lot of satire that defenders of the film have pointed out, but this is a swing and a miss from Altman. Just found it boring and irksome - Altman doing farce generally does this for me, and the leads were really uncharismatic and irritating, and talented cast (Dennis Hopper with an obvious homage to his Apocalypse Now character) were kind of out of place.
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