Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)

Ah yes, more Woody Allen! I think the only really silly early Woody comedies I'd seen are Bananas (which I barely remember- my dad made me watch it when I was in like 4th grade) and Sleeper. The premise of What's Up, Tiger Lily? is a tantalizing one, to be sure: In his first directorial credit, Woody Allen takes two Japanese spy films, edits them together, and dubs it over with a completely new script and a few buddies providing voices. The story changes from allegedly incomprehensible spy thriller to a silly (and still completely nonsensical) hunt for the perfect egg salad recipe.

Rife with sexual innuendo, exaggerated voices, irrelevant characters, and weird plot twists, What's Up, Tiger Lily? is a delightful romp through 60's Japan and fake espionage and anticlimactic action. It really does sound like Woody Allen's friends just hanging out making jokes over a movie, and I'm totally ok with that. I liked the self-aware segments that cut to Allen in the studio at various parts, along with a good sight gag about the projectionist.

It's a cute diversion with some very funny moments, but not especially memorable. A week later I'm having trouble recalling too many specific jokes. But it's fun! And it's got a couple of spy gadgets! Hooray!

Sorry I don't have more to say about it. Oh well.

3.5/5

Pair This Movie With: Well we all know I'm a fan of Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, with Steve Oedekerk dubbing over and physically inserting himself into a Japanese action flick. But I know it's not everyone's (or anyone's, really) thing. Really what this most reminded me of was Mystery Science Theater 3000, one of my absolute favorite tv shows, so go with that! They're basically movies, anyway! To keep with the spy theme I recommend episode 6.8: Operation Kid Brother aka Operation Double 007, featuring James Bond's younger brother (played by Sean Connery's actual younger brother Neil), a plastic surgeon caught up in the world of espionage and yachts.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this film. Sure it is a silly romp but man is it ever funny. I miss the witty rapid fire dialogue that was so prominent in Allen's films of the 60's and 70's.

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