Honeymoon in Vegas: Yewhewwww, Can I Get a Room?
This movie was really weird for several reasons.
First, a synopsis of the plot, which is also the first reason why this movie was so fucking weird.
Nicolas Cage visits his mother on her death bed. With her dying words, she asks him to never get married because “No one will ever love you the way I do.” Oh boy, wow, that’s a lot to unpack right off the bat. Fast forward four years, Cage is a private eye specializing in catching people cheating on their spouses, and he’s dating Sarah Jessica Parker. She wants to get married, he doesn’t, she pouts until he agrees to take her to Vegas to elope.
Once they land in Vegas, crime boss (???) James Caan sees Sarah Jessica Parker, thinks “Wow she looks just like my dead wife” and immediately comes up with a plan to steal her from Cage. Caan tricks Cage into a rigged poker match, and convinces him that the only way to pay off his debt is to let him hang out with Parker for the weekend. Cage stunningly agrees.
Caan flies Parker to Hawaii, where he seduces her and asks her to marry him. Sarah Jessica Parker, having known James Caan for all of two days, agrees to marry him because she’s “gotta get on with her life.” SJP, you are 27, you are good where you are, this is the 90s, you don’t have to settle down right away, you’ve got other terrible movies to make and Matthew Brodericks to marry, chill out.
Anyway, Cage skydives into the wedding with a bunch of Elvis impersonators and saves the day.
This movie was not great. It wasn’t bad, but it was not great. I don’t really want to get into the casual misogyny and racism, but it’s kind of hard to give it a pass. Pat Morita is a great actor and I love him in The Karate Kid, but it was weird to see him and Peter Boyle talking with fake Hawaiian accents pretending to be native Hawaiians. And SJP’s character was just like… Very passive about this whole situation.
Again though, Cage comes into a movie with tired jokes and a boring, predictable story, and he just explodes onto the screen with a completely unexpected yet sorely needed energy. Everything is life or death to this man, and it’s perfect. He’s screaming at his dying mother within the first two minutes of the movie and he only goes up.
Watching movies like this is difficult, because you start to feel like it’s the other actors who don’t get it. SJP and Caan deliver their lines with a bit of tongue-in-cheek attitude. They know it’s a comedy movie, and they’re #seriousactors, so you get this weird feeling like they’re phoning it in. But you absolutely do not get that with Cage. The guy commits 110% to whatever role he’s thrown into, and it’s strange when nobody else is committing that hard.
At first you think that Cage is just weird and that he’s a bad actor, but he’s not. He’s hypnotic. He delivers bland lines about food or swimming with the terror of a man on a tightrope, and he delivers uncomfortable jokes about suicide with a wildly casual chuckle. Everybody else is trying to find some semblance of reality in this weird, fake world that exists only on screen, and Cage is trying to be as unreal as possible.
This one hits an astonishing eight and a half Cagemarks.
Cage is shirtless in several scenes with SJP, including one where he talks about confusing his butt with hers while looking in the mirror above their bed.
Cage wears a fake moustache which is pulled off by SJP, so I’m giving the shaving requirement have a Cagemark.
Nicolas Cage jumps out of an airplane and we get a beautiful Cage Scream from that.
Cage struggles with the Hawaiian police, shrieking “BETSY” over and over again, definitely some quality over-acting.
Gonna hit three Cagemarks in one with a bizarre and bizarrely casual comment about sucking on an exhaust pipe; underacting, weird dialogue, and describing violence.
Cage runs around pretty frequently in this one.
Cage makes out with and awkwardly straddles a young Sarah Jessica Parker several times in this film.
Nicolas Cage was nominated for a Golden Globe for this movie. I don’t know if that was a mistake or not. This movie was not good (it was also nominated for best picture, which is definitely a mistake), but Cage’s performance is definitely entertaining. It’s almost vaudevillian in it’s over-blown melodrama, but that’s also just kind of Nicolas Cage’s baseline. It doesn’t feel like the character was really a challenge for him, but it also feels like he gave the movie way, way more than it deserved. I’m really confused about this one, guys. Probably not worth watching unless you’re a diehard fan of Tony Shalhoub.
May little Bruno Mars sing and dance his way into the hearts of millions,