Blame It On The Bellboy Review

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The bellboy of a Venetian hotel causes a mix-up between several guests, whose comic agendas become entangled. Oh, the hilarity.


As if the prospect of a whacky comedy co-starring Dudley Moore and Patsy Kensit, whose agents only let them see material Bruce Willis turns down as doomed, weren't off-putting enough, this one opens with travelogue footage of Venice - yes, more fucking gondolas - and some elaborate scene-setting whereby three people - a meek property minion (Moore) named Orton, a would-be adulterous bank manager named Horton (Griffiths), and an icy hit man named Lawton (Brown) - arrive at the same hotel and are mixed-up by a bellboy. The name part is played in offensively non-hilarious fashion by an American actor (Bronson Pichot) who stretches well beyond breaking point the old Fawlty Towers joke about foreigners being unable to speak English, even while the film never bothers to suggest that these Brits in Italy might perhaps try a "buon giorno" or two as a move towards understanding with our EEC brothers.

Moore winds up being tortured by the hoods Brown is supposed to be assassinating (a potentially funny scene that cuts away just before the electrodes are attached to his testicles), Brown winds up falling for the middle-aged spinster (Wilton) Griffiths is supposed to be set up with, and Griffiths gets to pork Patsy Kensit, who plays one of those bimbo roles almost any working actress would turn down. Under the impression the Fat One wants to buy a villa and will only write out a cheque, from which she'll get enough commission to buy a speedboat, if she lets his incredible bulk bounce all over her bod, Kensit suffers in a scene John Waters might have made funny but which here goes down like a cigar-smoker on the Hindenberg Zeppelin.

Everyone runs around Venice being surprised at everyone else, and the jolly music and chuckling actors try desperately on screen and in the press notes to pretend this as funny as A Fish Called Wanda.

Even as comedies which begin with people being tortured to death go, Blame It On the Bellboy is way, wayyyyyy below average.