ALL'S FAIR ...
US, 1989, 85 minutes, Colour.
George Segal, Sally Kellerman, Robert Carradine, Jennifer Edwards, Lou Ferigno.
Directed by Rocky Long.
All's Fair ... in love and war, so they say. This film is about both: a wild and a wacky American farce about businessmen playing war games, their male chauvinist attitudes towards their staff and their wives, the retaliation by the wives as they go into training and play war games against the men.
The film needs a moment or two but after it warms up, it is broad farce with some funny moments. George Segal, back on the screen after some absence, looks frantic as the gung-ho colonel, Sally Kellerman is back in form with her oddball style as his wife. There is a good supporting cast including Lou Ferrigno, the Incredible Hulk, sending himself up as the women's trainer and looking after little children, reading them stories. The supporting cast includes Jennifer Edwards, Jane Kamarczak and Robert Carradine.
1. Enjoyable farce and comedy, satire on militarism, on big business, the battle between men and women?
2. The battle of the sexes - literally? Comedy, satire, sentiment, message?
3. The title: fair in love and war? The ironies?
4. The opening and the battle; seemingly real or not, the colonel, the cheating, the shooting? The referee and her reaction? The military leader at work, the men? At work and their mutual congratulations?
5. The colonel and his meetings, military style, hostile action, cigar-chomping, in the Patton mould? Production, rivals? Stating positions? His old secretary and her military style (and her later reappearance like Rambo from the water, shooting him?). His fear of his wife, her interview, clothes, argument, wanting a divorce?
6. Ann and her skills, working hard, rivalry with Mark for the job, her being ignored by the men, moved to a small windowless office, Mark not reading the report, attracted towards her, falling in love? The colonel telling her to raise and army, her following the idea?
7. Linda and Ed at home, housework, the kids and their noise, at her own work, picking up the kids, slaving over the meals, Mark and Ed sitting watching the TV? Her exasperation?
8. Linda and her going to see Ann, the plan for the army? Florence's arrival? Their priorities; going to the shops for their fashion? Writing away for Klaus, his arrival and their reaction?
9. The squad of women, persuading them to come? Meeting Klaus? Awkward, missing the targets, the poor training? The continued training, their excelling, the satire on the Private Benjamin, Officer and a Gentleman training style? Florence and her ambling stylishly around? Ann and efficiency? The effect of everything on Linda, attracted towards Klaus, being transformed, the leader of the pack, tireless, gung-ho, the whistle?
10. Lou Ferrigno as Klaus, his work, appearance, flexible in taking the job with the women, sending up his own image, reading stories to the children?
11. Ed as a slob, at home, friends with Mark, relying on Linda? His watching the women train? Exasperation, his anger with Linda? Mark and his friendship, going to Ann's home, meeting Warren (and his cleaning while she watched war movies, talking with his mother on the phone)?
12. The colonel, threat by Florence to take over the firm, the bet?
13. The men and their lack of fitness, training too late?
14. The battle itself, the referee, the women's efficient arrival, the fight, the dirty tactics, the inefficiency of the men, the efficiency of the women? The humour of the battle sequences? Cheating and ignoring the referee? Warren, his observance, caught, attacked by all sides? With the flags? Mark and his ambiguity, thinking that he had taken Ann prisoner, rescuing her?, Going off? The referee and her being locked in the toilet, falling down the bill, emerging, joining the women in their attack?.
15. Ted as prisoner, sick of the game, longing for Linda, her gung-ho attitudes, the reconciliation? Mark rescuing Ann ? willing to quit their jobs, his conceding that she worked harder and had better qualifications? The irony of the lawyer marrying the referee?
16. The colonel and Florence and their fighting, eventual reconciliation?
17. The irony of the messages of what happened to everybody afterwards? Farce, visual and verbal humour, knockabout satire?