The Godson

The Godson. Shoreline Entertainment 1998.

Before watching the movie:

I suppose I should see The Godfather to properly appreciate a parody of it, but Rodney Dangerfield and Dom DeLuise are too well-cast to pass this up. Also it’s the most appropriate thing I’ve found this week.

Dom DeLuise also did a Godfather-parody character in Robin Hood: Men In Tights. The film looks good, but I can’t overlook the fact that it’s got two and a half big names and yet I’ve never heard of it, so I’m not getting my hopes up too much.

During/after the movie:

Giuseppi “Guppy” Calzone is the misfit youngest son of the Calzone family, a mafia syndicate led by his father the Oddfather. When his oldest brother is whacked by the Rodfather’s syndicate, Guppy becomes the sole heir of the family, thanks to his middle brother being cut out of the family due to “going legit” (also crazy). As the new Boss, the Godson, Guppy has six months to figure out how to be a gangster and save the Family from bankruptcy. To complicate matters, he’s stalked by his insane middle brother who now wants what should be his, a clumsy FBI agent, and the Rodfather’s sexy female heir, Don Na.

Kevin McDonald is not the Saturday Night Live alum I thought he was (I was probably thinking of Norm Mcdonald), but he’s had a lot of smaller roles so almost anybody has probably seen him in something. Most notable to me is the voice of Pleakley from the Lilo and Stitch franchise. Anyway, his performance reminds me of the kind of roles Dana Carvey likes to play, only more pathetic. He’s wimpy, inept, and childish in a manner that’s almost but not quite satisfying for what the character is.

Dom DeLuise’s mob boss is a direct parody of Marlon Brando’s way of speaking in The Godfather, while Rodney Dangerfield is… Rodney Dangerfield with a machine gun. And a hot daughter. And a crime syndicate. Both of them are general pastiches of the romance of crime as portrayed in movies like “Godfather.” The Oddfather (DeLuise) has a right-hand man played by Lou Ferrigno called “Bugsy” Alice. The Rodfather (Dangerfield)’s lieutenant is Tracy Dick, a guy who wears a bright yellow hat and trenchcoat, but otherwise won’t remind you of the guy he’s spoofing.

While there’s probably more parody specific to the Coppola film than I caught, this movie is quite accessible, and often enjoyable. Spoof jokes are not the only source of laughs, and there’s some definite heart to the story. Altogether, a good parody of a fascinating genre.

Watch this movie: for legit fun.

Don’t watch this movie: and your tv may be found with suspicious “self-inflicted” chainsaw marks.

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