Think of this as a guide through each of Christopher Walken's films, starting with his first and moving forward. Each review will provide analysis, factoids and opinion on the ninety-plus films in his career.
Walken in Short: Walken plays smooth-talking, womanizing New York literary publisher ‘Vanni Corso’. He has plenty of screen-time and oodles of lines.
Movie in a Sentence: Kate (Carole Bouquet) is a sassy French model married to an unpleasant yet successful British author named Alec (Jonathan Pryce), but she wants to make it as a writer too, so it’s a good thing they’ve both just met Vanni, a charming, ambitious New York publisher (Christopher Walken) who wants to lure Alec away from his previous publishing-house, and Kate from her husband.
Specs: one hour and 45 minutes long/ rated ‘R’ (swearing, drinking, no drugs, a fist-fight but no real violence, several brief glimpses of Ms. Bouquet’s nipples) / available on DVD but not Blu-ray
Writer: William Stadiem and Charlotte Brandstrom (based on the novel “Weep No More” by Barbara Skelton
Actors Other Than Walken:
Walken Content: 79% – He’s all over this film, he has several small speeches that he knocks out of the park (as usual), and he imbues his character with all kinds of small humanizing details that make him a joy to watch.
Walken Quote: Okay, so Walken and ‘Alec’ are in a restaurant together. Walken’s trying to convince him to switch publishers. Alec tells him that “you can’t turn literature into a business”. Walken smirks and responds thusly:
“Sure you can, look Alec, I know. You think I’m a nouveau riche philistine schmuck but you’d be wrong. I’ve been a millionaire nearly all my adult life, and I’ll tell you something: I graduated with top honors. Ask me from where. The university of LIFE pal. All that Latin and Greek and quotations and epigrams. None of that means diddly-squat.” (Alec stammers: ‘D-d-diddly?’)
“Squat. That’s a word I learned in Harvard.”
~ Vanni Corso (Walken)
Should You Watch This? Hard to say, really. I think that as a whole, this film is rather weak, and I would probably get hate-mail if I told you to watch it on its own merit. But on the other hand, Walken gets a lot of screen-time, a lot of lines. He’s eccentric and believable. There is a lot of Walken-FLAVORING sprinkled throughout this entire film. Too much to ignore.
FUN FACT: He has mentioned in an interview with James Lipton that among his film-roles to date (circa 1995) this is the role that he most identifies with.
Unfortunately, as a whole, I can’t endorse this film. It is a mediocre and half-baked romance that makes some ridiculous decisions in the third act, which subverts the strengths of all three leads. Ugh. Honestly, it ends on such a sour note, although the journey there is peppered with enough entertainment to make it tolerable, and at times entertaining.
If, however, you’re coming at this film from a purely Walken standpoint, then I’ve got to say “Do it.”
Walken tangos, golfs in stupid golf-outfits (multiple times), jogs, gets punched, gets drenched, has sex, takes a bath (with a lady!), sets a jealousy-trap with a hooker, and generally exudes enough charm to choke a cobra.
Here, check these out:
Now if that series of photos from this film doesn’t convince you that it’s worth at least taking a peek at, then I’m going to need to take away your Walken-Fan registration card, right now!
It’s your decision.