ALL OF ME
(director: Carl Reiner; screenwriters: from the Me Too novel by Edwin Davis/Phil Alden Robinson/Henry Olek; cinematographer: Richard H. Kline; editor: Bud Molin; music: Patrick Williams; cast: Steve Martin (Roger Cobb), Lily Tomlin (Edwina Cutwater), Victoria Tennant (Terry Hoskins), Madolyn Smith (Peggy Schuyler), Richard Libertini (Praka Lasa), Dana Elcar (Burton Schuyler), Selma Diamond (Margo), Jason Bernard (Tyrone Wattell), Eric Christmas (Fred Hoskins); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Stephen J. Friedman; Universal; 1984)
“An absurd fantasy comedy, based on a dumb premise.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An absurd fantasy comedy, based on a dumb premise, that’s ineffectively directed by Carl Reiner (“The Jerk “/”The Man With Two Brains”). It’s based on the book entitled Me Too by Edwin Davis, and is written by Phil Alden Robinson. It stars Steve Martin, the wild and crazy guy, doing his wacky physical comedy slapstick thing. But he’s hardly as funny as he’s vulgar.
The L.A. residing Roger Cobb (Steve Martin) is a struggling lawyer and a part-time jazz guitarist. He has a pet shaggy dog who always travels with him and a bitchy girlfriend (Madolyn Smith) not suited for him, who unceremoniously dumps him. Roger reluctantly takes the case of the soon to die millionairess Edwina Cutwater (Lily Tomlin), who wants to change her will. He’s encouraged to take the case by the practical-minded law firm boss (Dana Elcar). The cranky Edwina plans to take part in a Tibetan ceremony to transmigrate her soul into the body of her stableman’s daughter, the glum but healthy and pretty Terry (Victoria Tennant). For her role in this, Terry will inherit Edwina’s fortune. When Edwina dies and the transfer is made in his law firm’s office, something goes wrong and she enters the body of Roger. Thereafter she’s seen only in glass reflections as she battles with Roger for control of his body. The Tibetan guru, Praka Lasa (Richard Libertini), attempts to remove her from Roger and transfer her to the British accented Terry’s body.
This gives Martin a chance to do his wacko shtick, for Tomlin to try and get in some wit while only partially seen in reflections and for Libertini to try for some gentle weirdo humor as the magician handling the small ritual bowl where the soul is passed onto another. Before Edwina’s soul reaches her final resting place, she accidentally lands briefly inside Roger’s best friend, the blind black jazzman, Tyrone (Jason Bernard).
It results in a forgettable film, one with very few funny bits and a Steve Martin whose wacko act no longer seems to be working.
REVIEWED ON 8/3/2020 GRADE: C