Thursday, September 15, 2011
Bad/awesome flixxx review: The Secret of My Success (1987)
"Look, I like you, I really like you, but I gotta tell you, I have become seriously and emotionally involved with someone who isn't my aunt." - Brantley
"My cousin Ellen married his half-sister's nephew, before she got bit by that dog and died." - Brantley's mother
"I was having fun on this job! You had all this energy, and all these crazy ideas... and you kept taking your pants off." - Jean
I remember watching the trailer for this as a little kid. BACK TO THE FUTURE had been out for a while and TEEN WOLF and FAMILY TIES had made Michael J. Fox a star. I thought I definitely needed to see this movie, but my Earth mother had other ideas. It was most assuredly about some sex stuff that she thought I probably didn't need to know about at 8. Either way, I had seen FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF and they had the same song by Yello in it (the one that goes "mmmmm chka chka, doo bow bow). So I thought it would probably be like that. I also remember the song "Walking on Sunshine" in the trailer as well that was a big hit that summer. I think I liked that song only because I associated it with Michael J. Fox. Anyway, this one also had a huge 80s crush of mine- Helen Slater from LEGEND OF BILLY JEAN and SUPERGIRL. Wow, she kind of looked like shit in this one, but hey, it was the 80s. Haircuts could really fuck you up. Both of them, a cameo from Herman Munster, and the dickhead cop from SOLARBABIES all star in THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS!!!
This film is the story of Brantley Foster, a pretty smart, well educated kid from the sticks in Kansas. He HAD to get outta there and move to the Big Apple to see if he could make it. He dreamed of coming back to Kansas in his own private jet and had "delusions of grandeur" as they say. But Brantley wasn't one to be denied. Upon arrival in NYC, he goes to his new job only to find out that 90% of the company has been shitcanned in a corporate takeover. He witnesses a robbery while in a telephone booth, and his apartment is a shithole that has his bed beside of a wall where his neighbors fuck constantly. So things aren't going so well off the bat. He remains positive. He tries to get a job everywhere, but no one needs him. Finally he remembers that his mom gave him his distant uncle's number and he goes there to try and score a gig.
His uncle is a bigshit dick exec type dude with no time for anyone but Brantley wins him over and lands a slot in the mailroom. Now the strange thing here is, I've been buying VHS like this for a long time and I just grab one and pop it in when I'm hanging with my Earth father. The two that I picked up had been purchased across the country from each other, and were completely picked at random, but BOTH starred this one rather rare dude in a (not leading but) prominent role. His name is Christopher Murney. Lately I've watched 3 flicks in which he's popped up. THE LAST DRAGON, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, and this one. In this one he's the mailroom boss. Brantley basically doesn't wanna be at the bottom, he wants to be at the top, so when a some dude is fired, he uses his mailroom gig to find out things about the business, assumes the fired guy's identity and starts making out like he's another guy named Carleton Whitfield. He also falls for this girl Christy (Slater). He also gets asked to drive home an executive's wife.
So, trying to impress the exec's wife, he tells her she is pretty and she's very impressed by him and obviously hates her cheating husband. He tells her a few other things that make her check him out, and immediately she takes him to the pool and then the pool house to bang. Moments later the husband shows up and turns out to be guess who? His uncle. So he banged his (very distant) aunt. She is still smitten with him and haunts him through the whole flick. He finally impresses the other girl Christy and they fall for each other while working on a project where he is trying to save the company from a hostile takeover by expanding when everyone else thinks they should fire people. Turns out though that his uncle has been cheating with Christy for a while as well.
Brantley amazing does an incredible job of living 2 seperate lives, quick changing in the elevator, and somehow pulling the wool over everyone's eyes for way way way way longer than he should have been able to. Everything comes to a head though when in fear of a hostile takeover, his uncle invites everyone to a big party over at their house, and Brantley is discovered after some SCOOBY-DOO-type-in-and-out-doors-almost-caught-but-not-yet-type-antics. Then when everything is discovered, at the last minute Herman Munster tries to buy the company, but Brantley buys it because he had help from the investor dudes that he wowed at the party they through. Its a little stretch, a lot of cheese, but its a pretty damn good 80s comedy. It's definitely probably one to watch with a lady. She would enjoy it. Word.