Mannequin On The Move

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In this modern fairy tale a department store window dresser is once more inspired by a mannequin.


This is an encore rather than a sequel. The film makers dress up the premise of 1987's modest hit Mannequin, in which a reincarnated Egyptian princess in the guise of a department store dummy inspires Andrew McCarthy to heights of artistry as a window dresser, with some fairy tale trappings and new characters and voila! - another entry in the apparently eternally appealing male fantasy of ideal woman on a beautiful, young, blank slate.

This time, the mannequin is peasant girl Jessie (Kristy Swanson), who was turned to wood 1000 years earlier by an evil sorcerer (Kiser) in order to prevent her marriage to Prince William (Ragsdale) of the imaginary Bavarian kingdom of Hauptmann-Koenig. Movie genes being what they are, the major players re-appear essentially unchanged at Prince and Co., a Philadelphia department store which is conveniently preparing a tribute to H-K. Kiser, now Count Spretzle, arrives at the store accompanied by Jessie's statue and three musclebound bodyguards, and immediately develops an active antagonism to William, who has been reborn as an assistant window dresser.

It seems that Jessie's enchantment is about to end and Spretzle intends to spirit her away as soon as she returns to life. Nothing as inappropriate as true love can be allowed to interfere with his plans.

Suffice to say that in line with the present backlash against political correctness, the movie singles out gays, lesbians, African-Americans, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Central Eurpoeans, mothers and people with large, hairy moles. Swanson prances around in skimpy, tight outfits and comes to life speaking with a perfect American accent - an astonishing feat considering everyone else from her kingdom has an undefined European accent of some sort.

Mesach Taylor's repeat performance as the flamboyant window dresser Hollywood Montrose is in a direct line of descent from La Cage Aux Folles, but like him or hate him, he interjects the only life into this empty material.

Despite the presence of four credited screenwriters, the plot is a rehash of cliches and tired jokes.