US, 1994, 92 minutes, Colour.
Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, Adam Sandler, Michael Mc Kean, Judd Nelson, Ernie Hudson, Amy Locane, Nina Siemaszko, Marshall Bell, Reg E. Cathey, David Arquette, Michael Richards, Joe Mantegna.
Directed by Michael Lehmann.
Airheads is one of those zany movies that Americans like to make. It might be seen as a rather silly variation of Spinal Tap, especially with Michael Mc Kean in the cast.
However, this is a comedy about a gawky band, led by Brendan Fraser on whom you would not rely for anything serious, especially dopey, and breaking up with his girlfriend played by Amy Locane. She is a rather tough type, walking out on him and rather unforgiving and where she sees some gain in it. There are the members of the band are Steve Buscemi and a young Adam Sandler who indicates the kind of dumb comedy that he could produce at any time.
The band plays, unsuccessfully, at a club, wants to get their demo on air and approach a record executive, played by Judd Nelson. They also come across a DJ played by Joe Mantegna, playing it for all he’s worth, with Fraser slipping into the building undetected and causing uproar in the studio most of the day, a lot of the uproar being on air, and a large crowd of demonstrators and fans assembling outside the radio station. Michael Mc Kean is the put-upon manager of the station, organising a change from rock to easy music, his staff getting some idea of what was going to happen and their being fired and then turning on him. He is the butt of most of the jokes.
Also on the staff are Reg E Cathy, commenting on race issues, a sympathetic blonde who falls for Adam Sandler, Nina Siemaszko, a very dopey David Arquette before his Scream films and, undetected by the intruders but discovered by the police, escaping through ventilation chutes but with a whole lot of pratfalls is Seinfeld’s Michael Richards.
This will appeal to audiences who enjoy slacker movies, airhead movies – and good and bad rock music. It is reflective of the American dream - that despite their demonstration tape having all kinds of damage done to it, the fact that the band had water pistols and water rifles deceiving the authorities, that Ernie Hudson is very earnest as the policeman in charge of controlling the demonstration, that the executives want to do all kinds of double deals to capitalise on the publicity, and that it all ends up temporally happy ever after.