Chances are if you're a fan of goofy 80s comedies, you already own and love the 1987 movie Mannequin, starring Kim Cattral, Andrew McCarthy and James Spader. The title kinda says it all. Boy meets girl. Girl turns out to be a mannequin. Mannequin comes to life, Hollywood Montrose is awesome. Hilarity ensues. Sounds like your normal love story, give or take a few splinters, right? It was panned by critics but beloved by fans of goofy comedies everywhere.
Right. Well, in 1991, we were treated to a sequel. "Mannequin 2: On The Move". Starring William Ragsdale, Kristy Swanson and Terry Kiser and none of the stars of the original, except Meshach Taylor as fan favorite, Hollywood Montrose. Ok. I know that's prolly a red flag and the fact that more people blowtorch this critically than the first one wouldn't help either. But, that's what I'm here for. To play the good cop.
Fact is, I hadn't ever seen this movie until the other day when I received a screener. When I was a kid, they'd air advertisements and all, but I never really had much interest. As I get older, I have a certain fondness for movies of that era even if I hadn't seen them until now. And boy am I glad I saw this. Because it is quite the fun movie.
The official synopsis describes it perfectly, because even if I tried to describe it the best I could, I still wouldn't be able to make you believe it:
"A romantic confection, Mannequin Two On The Moveis a comic look at reincarnation, lost love and fabulous window displays. This sequel to the popularMannequin finds the outrageous Hollywood Montrose (Meshach Taylor, TV’s Designing Women) promoted to Prince & Company’s display department. Joining Hollywood on the job is new assistant, Jason Williamson (William Ragsdale, Fright Night) who in a past life was the prince of the Hauptmann-Koenig kingdom.
Prince & Company will display a mannequin known as the Enchanted Peasant Girl in celebration of the kingdom. And Jason has a nagging feeling that he’s seen this mannequin somewhere before. Removing a necklace from the mannequin reveals that the Enchanted Peasant Girl is in reality Jessie (Kristy Swanson, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), the love of his previous life who was put under a curse by an evil sorcerer. Their rekindled romance is not without it’s challenges when the evil sorcerer reappears in the reincarnated form of Count Gunther Spretzle (Terry Kiser, Weekend At Bernie’s) who has plans of his own for the cursed Jessie."
Yeah. You read right. The same guy who made this also gave us Mac and Me.
Ok, not perfect by any means, but still fun. There is a charm to this movie that once it starts, you eventually start rolling your eyes at it's corniness but can't stop watching. The humor is a little bit more over the top. Even the cast realizes what a silly movie they're making and have a hard time taking it seriously, which helps you kinda relax and enjoy it more. Terry Kiser as the evil sorcerer was probably the highlight for me. He played this role more in the style of a corny villain from Batman tv series. In fact, at times, I'm convinced he's auditioning for the Penguin. Then again, when you play a villain in a movie about a mannequin falling in love, it's hard to take seriously...
The soundtrack is another thing nostalgia-lovers may enjoy. Plenty of late 80s/early 90s pop music for those looking to spice up their retro pop playlist. Not to be missed is Hollywood rapping at a dinner gala about Jessie, the mannequin, falling in love and needing a kiss from her true love. Yes, I'm serious.
Want my personal favorite? May I suggest Cindy Valentine's "Pick Up The Pieces To My Heart"? Give it a listen...
Do I suggest this? Yes. But only if you like silly, stupid, mindless humor. Because this movie is full of it. If you loved the first one, you may not like this one, but then again, you owe it yourself to still own it. Because, come on, Hollywood, son.
Pick it up over at Olive Films today! And fans of the first one, don't worry, they've got you covered! November 3rd is the street date for that one too!