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My Chauffeur (1986) - Blu-ray Review

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My Chauffeur (1986) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersThank you, Vinegar Syndrome, for this fun reminder of just how awesome the comedies from the 1980s were!  My Chauffeur, even if we know its destination, is one heck of a joyous ride through the streets of yesteryear.  Complete with non-PC cameos from Penn & Teller (in their film debut), the comedy is a good reminder of just how engaging writer and director David Beaird (It Takes Two) can be.  He hits a confident stride early and sustains it throughout the raucous comedy that sees two different folks, from two severely different walks of life, falling in love. 

Beaird’s casting of the oft-smiling Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl) as Casey Meadows, a dishwasher in an Italian restaurant with the hopes of becoming a chauffeur, was a certifiable stroke of genius.  She nails the whole 1940s romantic comedy angle that is required to make this often overlooked cult comedy classic from the 1980s a truly shining example of just how weird and wild the age of neon and Stacey Q and neon was. 

My Chauffeur is light as air and yet, with its perfectly pounding pop-rock soundtrack (provided by The Wigs), it tackles many, many truths in its 90 minutes about women, men, and the financial truths that divide us.  It’s also a cinematic riot of street punks, a rocker named "Cat Fight" (Leland Crooke), his topless entourage, and other hilarious gags featuring familiar comedic faces from the 1980s.  But maybe the topper is Sam Jones (aka Flash Gordon!!!!) running around nude in the park. 

The comedic madness begins with a single shot as a classically scripted gold stamped invitation is passed from worker to worker through a classy restaurant (and we’re talking from the very tippy top to the basement below) on to the grime and grease of the dishwasher room.  It is the invitation our vivacious lead, Casey, has been waiting for. 

It will not be; however, an easy transition.  Not with the array of passengers she’s about to HAVE TO haul around town.  From stoned rockers obsessed with boobs and oversized panties to witnessing the collapse of a relationship and championing on the victim, her world is about to be turned on its head.

But the male chauffeurs, lead by a grumpy Howard Hesseman, over at Brentwood Limousine Limited want nothing to do with a girl in the group.  From their “what will be next?” bitching to their blatant sexism as they crack jokes about her wiggling her ass, Casey pretty much has to bowl them over with her constant smile and chipper attitude. 

And, my goodness, if her charm isn’t the most delicious thing about this flick then I’ve completely lost my marbles.  She’s damn near dripping with a candy coating sweetness as she faces the world’s stodgiest crew of drivers.  Foreman is a master at the smile and gives it back when it’s needed.  Think of Katherine Hepburn and you’re just about there with Foreman’s performance.

It doesn’t help matters, though, when she accidentally gets one of the old timers off after spilling his drink in his lap and then drying it fervently while giving him a peek down her shirt.  This is only one of the many accidents that occur as she, never suspecting otherwise, comes face to face with her new beau and her father.  All thanks to the job she’s so excited to finally be doing. 

Welcome back to the wild world of lace gloves, big hair, and short socks; two of hearts indeed.  My Chauffer, even if Crown International Pictures lied about their opening weekend numbers when it was originally released against The Color Purple, remains a reeling and rocking good time with some old friends.

My Chauffeur (1986) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
97 mins
Director
: David Beaird
Writer:
David Beaird
Cast:
Deborah Foreman, Sam J. Jones, Sean McClory
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
He fell in love with the help... Beverly Hills will never be the same.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Yeah, I didn't like her anyway. She smelled funny."
Theatrical Distributor:
Crown International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 24, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 25, 2017
Synopsis: Casey Meadows (Deborah Foreman, Valley Girl), a dishwasher at an Italian restaurant, has just received an unbelievable job offer: the opportunity to work as a driver at the prestigious Brentwood Limousine Limited. Much to the shock and frustration of its posh, all-male chauffeur staff, Casey accepts the offer, but as she begins to settle into her new position, she discovers that working as a driver is more grueling than she could have anticipated. Finding herself having to contend with stoned singers, devious diplomats, and other raucous clients, she’s quickly at her wits end, but when she picks up a young man named Battle (Sam J. Jones, Flash Gordon), who’s just been dumped by his girlfriend, a budding romance quickly begins, only for Casey to discover that Battle is her bosses’ son!

My Chauffeur (1986) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Symdrome
Available on Blu-ray
- July 25, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region A, B

Vinegar Syndrome rescues this title from the dustbin of time thanks to their effort to restore the film with their 2K scan.  Newly remastered from the original camera negative and presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, My Chauffeur has never looked better.  It erases all those late night television views from my youth and makes me tear up at the sheer beauty of the steely limousines and the green parks throughout this film.  Los Angeles and Chicago look clean and, trust me, that in itself is a pretty amazing feat to pull off.  Black levels are strong throughout.  The rocking sound of The Wigs (why weren’t they ever BIG?!?!) is propped up by the DTS-HD stereo track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  There are two commentary tracks included with the Blu-ray/DVD combo.  The first includes writer/director David Beaird and co-star Leland Crooke.  The second is with production assistant Jeff McKay.

Special Features:

It should be noted that this production is a music-heavy film; it’s amazing the quality of songs that this one supports.  All hidden gems of the post-punk era.  Foreman is on hand to talk about the film, its release, and the fallout after Crown International lied about their numbers.  One should never out perform Steven Spielberg, I guess.  The first 1,500 copies sold through VinegarSyndrome.com will include a double-thick ‘glossy lipstick’ limited edition slipcover designed by Derek Gabryszak.  At the time of this publication, those copies are still available. 

  • License to Drive: Interview with star Deborah Foreman
  • Isolated Soundtrack
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

My Chauffeur (1986) - Blu-ray Review

 

 

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