Tierney, James La Gros, Christopher Walken, James Reborn, Kevin
Corrigan, Thomas Curry, Andy Dick, Amy Smart, and Timothy Levitich
by: Billy Morrissette
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!
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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
not a lord, castle or sonnet in site!
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.
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,
yep, that's him.
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.
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.