Thursday, 29 September 2011

Outrageous Fortune

It is a glorious September morning and although I stayed up late to finish watching a dreadful but enjoyable film I have successfully got the house ready for the arrival of the new fridge except that a phone call suggests it might not arrive, with the official reason vehicle breakdown although my suspicion is that drivers have not turned in because of the fine weather.

And the film? Only one of several time fillers to relax before beddies has the title Outrageous Fortune (Slings and Arrows etc) is a screwball comedy featuring Bette Middler with Shelly Long as the co star. Shelley plays would be actress Lauren Ames who has trained in London and is being interviewed for a new class with the renowned émigré theatre Stanislav Korzenowski (Robert Prosky) who also selects Sandy Brozinsky played Brett as a loud mouthed hopeful who sees acting as the way out from the humdrum of her life struggling to make ends meet. The two women take an instant dislike especially as Bette has not prepared a role performance for the interview and later admit she has no idea who or what Hamlet is,

To make ends meet Shelley works in a costume store and is immediately smitten by Peter Coyote who plays Michael Sanders, a school teacher who is seeking a Pumpkin outfit for one of the poor pupils in his class. She offers to help and becomes his bed partner with fantasies of happy ever after.

The one day both women see a news broadcast where a man they recognise as Michel is seen walking into a store followed by a bomb blast (how many bomb go off with a camera waiting?) and one of the victims is identified as Michel because of a fragment of information however his upper body is damaged beyond normal identification processes. The two women cannot believe they have both been lovers of the same individual but this becomes secondary, momentarily because they know from the lower anatomy of the victim that this is not Michael. They assume he survived and went to see one of them so they decide to go together to establish which one is telling the truth about their relationship, You get it both women are stupid with the ability to think through anything in advance of acting with their emotions and impulses, just like your average actress, you believe!

At the first flat they find two men searching the room so they escape only to be chased by two others who look central European. The two men in the room kill the two central Europeans and then chase the girls who escape and using some skills and outrageous behaviour hey work out that Michael faked his death because of being pursued and the find that that he made a phone call, took and took a cab into black land territory where they pretend to be cops on a bust of two well armed gangsters who admit they provided Michael with a false identity and that he took a cab to the airport. They are able to pay for the trip and for the cab driver waiting by stealing a tin of cash from the gangsters on the basis of letting them go. They are now being tailed by the two men who searched the flat who we know are CIA on the trail of Michael who up to no good.

When Lauren and Sandy finally find Michael at a boathouse waiting to picket up by collaborators they realise they have been played and more so when they are rescued by the two CIA officers and the vehicle driver and assistant are none other than Russian operatives and one of these is none other than their theatrical Professor and we learn to full dastardly nature of the plot.

Michael was a brilliant CIA officer who became a double agent and then went freelance stealing a deadly defoliant in order to blackmail the USA government into giving $20 million dollars in exchange.
He has also been dealing with the Russian and had deliberately got to know the two girls so he could pass micro dot information onto their course notebooks so he could keep in communication with the Russian theatre teaching Professor. The girl get away from the quartet of spies who decide to join forces with one of the CIA men a former class mate who believes the girls’ story that they were duped and not conspiratorial associates. The girls decide to find Michael and get the toxin to convince the authorities of their innocence as well a punishing their former lover for his deception.

The chase leads to rural Arizona when Lauren is taken hostage by Michael and his rouge associates who force a trade with the CIA for the toxin, and with Korzenowski with the stolen cash he intended to give to Michael. When the trade goes awry, Lauren gets away with both the money and the toxin, with Michael in hot pursuit, cornered on a series of mountain picturesque rock tops. They have involved a white Indian tourist guide and tracker who also bring a long the motorcycle riding Indian brothers who also still use the bow and arrow as a tourist attraction

Lauren uses her former ballet skills to evade him, leaping from one top to the other over deep chasms, culminating in a grand Jeté, as pursuing Michael slips and is killed on the rocks far below whilst the money is lost to native Indians.

By this time the two women have become friends and in the final scene one play Hamlet and the other Ophelia on Broadway watched by the CIA friends and the Russians who have been given asylum and their now wealthy Indian Tracker and his friends. Oh gosh how wonderful and to think I stayed up until 1 am for this!

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