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Scotland, PA

Starring:
Maura Tierney, James La Gros, Christopher Walken, James Reborn, Kevin Corrigan, Thomas Curry, Andy Dick, Amy Smart, and Timothy Levitich
Directed by: Billy Morrissette
Rated PG-13

Scotland, PA is a damned clever movie. It's all about the famous Shakespeare play, Macbeth, as set in semi-modern times (well, 1972 so if you can legally call 1972 modern). Oops, I've scared you now. I used the S word. Fear not dear reader because this "version" is a bonifide hootenanny!

Scotland, PA is a stylized Macbeth that writer/director Billy Morrissette updated and stripped of all "thoseth" and "theseth" references from the dreaded verbal scribe that hadeth once tortured yee in highland school and beyond.

Scotland, PA is riddled with a wonderful cast and places the whole motley crew from the infamous play (King Duncan, the three witches, Macbeth etc.) in a blot of a town with an Anywhere, USA feel. The Macbeth's are now the McBeth's, Joe and Pat ( James La Gros and Maura Tierney). A local couple mad for each other, and mad for success in the burgeoning fast food industry. King Duncan (James Rebhorn) is now a local businessman Norm Duncan who happens to run the most successful restaurant in Scotland, PA specializing in donuts and diner fare, natch. He's like a "king" in the blue-collar area.

Inadvertently, due to a state living in oblivion, Norm smites the McBeth's by skipping over Joe "Mac" McBeth once again for promotion to the esteemed position of restaurant manager at Duncan's. Norm gives the coveted position to his teenage son, Malcolm (Thomas Curry), who's far from hip to hair nets and fryalators; Malcolm's into his bass and broads.

Angered in a "what am I suppose to do about it" way Joe goes out drinking with his head held low. Pat, his lovely bride whines, lovingly, about the let down and what the lack of prestige means to them. She just wants to be proud of him and see him fulfill his dreams and aspirations. She leaves him to wallow in his losses.

See, Joe who we'll call "Mac", has a multitude of great, inventive, ideas for the fast food industry. From little bite size chicken pieces (ala nuggets) to the wildly avante gard idea of multiple dipping sauces for those nuggets! You can start to get to see the humor I hope?

When he's good and loopy he struggles homeward, sadly, only to run into the three rhyming whacked-out pot-smokin' jokin' hippies (a modern twist on the three witched for the non-Shakespeare crowd). These hippies (Andy Dick, Amy Smart and Timothy Livitch) offer him a look into his future…a future where employees, like tellers at a bank, take your food order and thin long French fries draw hordes of hungry folks to his restaurant. They whisper of how fast food will be taking a radical turn towards the ultimate in convenience and he, Joe "Mac" McBeth will be at the forefront of the revolution! <- Que over dramatic music in your mind here please.

Mac sleeps it off and the next day the prophecies begin to take shape in the form of accidental murders, betrayal and paranoia taken to a heaping helping equal to a biggie size order of psycho. The nasty undertakings do not go unnoticed.

Enter Inspector McDuff (Christopher "gotta dance" Walken). McDuff, a bit of an eccentric, is determined to get to the bottom of the whole combo-meal center of the case and is relentless in his pursuit.

See, not a lord, castle or sonnet in site!

Maura Tierney, as Pat, costumed in polyester coolots and clingware (tré chic of the era) is an extreme hoot. She nailed this role as the social climber whose passive-aggressive manipulation techniques drive her big "Mac" into ultimate despair.

Usually studly actor James LeGros as "Mac" has this BeeGees meets The Bay City Rollers hair -do with awkward tight bulge distorting jeans that makes you wonder how the next generation was ever conceived if the folks of the era were roaming around in this style of ensemble! It's not an attractive look is all I'm saying! Slurpable when properly prepared, James, was all cleaned up and suited in Ally McBeal for those of you not familiar with his many Indie roles. On Ally he was the poor bastard dating and falling for, a man, er, transexual…yep, that's him.

Christopher Walken, as always, brought joy to the screen. His unique style and winky smirk makes us all feel like we could stop by his house for babaganoush and a shanty by the piano.

The hippies were hysterical. Amy Smart played the wise evil one, the boys Andy Dick and Timothy Levitch, the ambiguously gay giggling duo. Wonderful. I adore Dick anyway.

The quick drive-thru version of the review? Intelligent fast paced dialog, teary-eyed nostalgia for the gauche plastic world of the early 1970's and the impeccable cast make Scotland, PA a must see.

Snack Recommendation: A large McBeth hamburger with McBeth Fries and a gardenburger served w/ a Jack and Tab.

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