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August 20, 2012

Wayne’s World

by Franz Patrick

Wayne’s World (1992)
★★★ / ★★★★

Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) broadcasted their show on a late-night public-access television where they featured ridiculous guests and just be the happy-go-lucky slackers they were. Despite their wacky sense of humor, they became an underground sensation in Aurora, Illinois because they were somehow able to relate to the young and young at heart. Benjamin Kane (Rob Lowe), a network executive, took notice and decided to buy the show’s properties from the duo for five thousand dollars a piece. As a man used to getting what he wanted, the show wasn’t the only thing he aimed to take away. “Wayne’s World,” written by Mike Myers, Bonnie Turner, and Terry Turner, did not appeal to my sweet tooth as quickly as I suspected it would. Initially, I thought it was strange because Wayne was a essentially a man-boy metalhead, at least thirty years of age, who still lived with his parents. However, strangely enough, the more Wayne spoke to the camera so directly and so openly, the more I grew to like him. And the more I liked him, the more open-minded I became toward his infantile jokes, sometimes very amusing, and mannerisms, especially when he knew he said something witty on camera and so he would close his eyes, wrinkle his brows, and smile. Even though he didn’t look like a typical smart person with a certain scholastic aura, I was surprised that he actually had something astute to say whether it was about pop culture, literature and history, lifestyles, or human behavior–all without sacrificing who he was. It was important that he had flaws and the filmmakers intended on celebrating them. As I grew fascinated with Wayne and Garth’s adventures and anticipated the curveballs in the script, I found myself two or three steps behind the jokes. I think it’s great when I feel like I need to catch up instead of sitting there, going over how a joke would inevitably reach the punchline, and seeing it exactly appear on screen. In comedies, there’s nothing more depressing than sitting through a joke you can recite in your sleep. Another reason why it was a joy to watch was because of the music. Wayne had fallen for beautiful Cassandra (Tia Carrere), the lead singer and bassist of a hard rock band with great potential for commercial success, and there were a handful of scenes when Wayne and Garth visited clubs, among other places, and we would listen and watch the performances. Because the energy was always wild and aggressive, even though the singing scenes served no purpose to move the plot, I didn’t mind. I was having a great time. I actually wanted to get up, put on a wig, do a bit of head banging. There were instances, though, when I thought the film used too much slapstick during and after the performances. It felt unnecessary and cheap. However, Wayne and Garth would probably consider that critique as a compliment which was another reason why I smiled as I watched them: their positive frame of mind was infectious. Based on the characters by Mike Myers, “Wayne’s World,” directed by Penelope Spheeris, intrepidly tackled different corners of comedy. Although not all of them worked, its high points were memorable and its nadirs were quickly redeemed by the next ticklish gag.


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