So I Married An Axe Murderer
Directed by Thomas Schlamme
                                                                   
Written by Robbie Fox

Mike Myers....Charlie Mackenzie/Stuart Mackenzie 
Nancy Travis.... Harriet Michaels 
Anthony LaPaglia....Tony Giardino 
Amanda Plummer....Rose Michaels 
Brenda Fricker....May Mackenzie

Rated PG-13 / 92 Minutes


Originally appeared in The Bradenton Herald, Summer 1993


Mike Myers is quickly becoming one of our most important comedy performers. Myers first proved a vital member of the Saturday Night Live cast, then managed to make the film version of Wayne's World a treat. His second feature, So I Married An Axe Murderer allows him to shine twice as much by providing Myers two characters - smitten poet Charlie McKenzie as well as his father, a Scottish loudmouth.

One day Charlie enters a butcher shop and meets Harriett (Nancy Travis). The two strike up a great relationship, until Charlie gets spooked. He begins to believe that his girlfriend is a mysterious "Mrs. X" who marries, then murders men. Charlie asks a detective friend (Anthony La Palgia) to look into it, but his doubts are relieved enough to go through with a wedding. Everything seems fine - until the honeymoon, that is.

To tell more would give away the ending. It's not a bad twist, but I had already predicted it early on. Otherwise, the film is cute and witty, if not quite hillarious.

Comedic performances are bright all around. Myers is one of the most likable SNL personalities and he projects much of the same energy as Charlie. He does a decent job making his character original, but he sometimes depends on traits from his SNL characters. La Palgia is quite funny as a detective who is bored with the real side of police work - He would rather have it like an episode of Starsky and Hutch. Brenda Fricker has an amusing turn as Charlie's mother, who seems to like Charlie's pal La Palgia a bit too much and considers the Weekly World News factual.

One of the selling points of this film is an all-star soundtrack. New tunes are featured by Soul Asylum, Toad the Wet Sprocket and a number of others. Even the mega-hit "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors is here. As usual, the song being used to promote the film ("Saturday Night" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin) is only used over the closing credits. Credit the filmmakers, however, for making a catchy but obscure 1988 tune ("There She Goes" by The La's) the film's recurring musical theme. Kudos to the Boo Radleys for a catchy and original update of the tune, as well.

On the downside, the movie just isn't as funny as it could have been. Michael Richards (Seinfeld's Kramer) and Steven Wright have silly cameos that misfire. On the other hand, Charles Grodin makes a short but memorable appearance. One wonders why he didn't get billing in previews. Maybe the filmmakers realized they needed to save at least one good gag from the tell-the-whole-story-in-a-minute previews studios put out these days.

Mike Myers should rest easy about his future after this film. So I Married An Axe Murderer proves he can charm audiences, even if the material isn't up to snuff. This might become a forgotten piece of trivia with a catchy title, but it's perfect lazy summer entertainment.
 

- Derek Miner

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