Today! Because who dares to tow the van of the living Christ?
The Dream Team (1989)
Directed by Howard Zieff
Starring Michael Keaton, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Boyle, Stephen Furst, Lorraine Bracco, Philip Bosco, James Remar, Dennis Boutsikaris, Milo O’Shea
My second favorite Michael Keaton film of 1989! Released two and a half months before Batman, Keaton was coming off the bizarre ’88 double feature of Beetlejuice and Clean and Sober when this insane asylum road trip hit theaters. I’m pretty sure I saw every Keaton movie of the era once the big black bat came into my life, and this weird little comedy has stuck around through time. His exaggerated Randle P. McMurphy bit (and alongside Cuckoo’s Nest alum Lloyd too!) is fine, but the best parts belong to Boyle’s messianic former ad man Jack and Lloyd’s delusional faux doctor Henry. Like a lot of ’80s comedies, they shoe horn in a gritty plot to give the thing a purpose, besides get lost and be crazy on their way to the ballgame – it’s something about corrupt cops – which all gets resolved fine in the end. Just to digress, do you remember the whole thing about there being, like, cocaine in a diaper bag in Three Men and a Baby? And there are shootouts and shit in that movie? Why the hell couldn’t it have just been those assholes taking care of that baby?
In fairness, The Dream Team was never hilarious. It’s just a little too sad when you step back from the gags for any amount of time and ruminate on what the hell all is going on here. But, there are enough legitimately funny parts and a lot of talent in the leads to help you from staring too closely at the mental health crisis in America while watching the film, and that’s all we’re asking for as a people, right? A little escapism, couched in the misery of others!
I believe this is the first repeat appearance of an actor so far on the list, and so I’d like to spotlight the great stage and screen actor, and Michael Douglas’s father-in-law in #397’s Wonder Boys, Philip Bosco! Glancing over his resume, he will make at least one more appearance in the days to come, and possibly more?
Not the most acclaimed or remembered film of its day, The Dream Team clearly deserves some awards, including Best Avoidance of Yankee Stadium, as they never do reach the game they set out to see, and Best Church Striptease, as Jack preaches to a found congregation.