`Gold Diggers' is a new low for Lampoon


September 17, 2004|By Roger Moore | Roger Moore,ORLANDO SENTINEL

If some of the funniest guys in Hollywood - the Coen Brothers, Tom Hanks and Marlon Wayans - couldn't remake a hit out of the 1955 Brit comedy The Ladykillers, what prayer do the hacks who stick National Lampoon in front of their movie titles have?

That would be "no prayer."

If National Lampoon's Gold Diggers had a single laugh, it would die of loneliness. The comedy represents a new nadir for the Lampoon brand. John Belushi isn't hanging out in Animal House anymore and Van Wilder (2002) now looks like a fluke success in the long downward slide of Lampoon.

Will Friedle and Chris Owen play Cal and Lennie, who scheme to marry and bury two wealthy elderly sisters as a way of avoiding having to work. Sisters, Doris and Betty (Louise Lasser and Renee Taylor), also need to marry and bury somebody for cash.

So you have two couples, thrown together by a common goal. Who will kill whom first?

Cal and Lennie and Doris and Betty try poisons, guns and "accidents" as ways of doing each other in. Nothing works.

Which goes for the movie, too.

The Orlando Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Gold Diggers

Starring Will Friedle, Chris Owen, Nikki Ziering

Written and directed by Gary Preisler

Released by Voyage Entertainment

Rated PG-13 (crude humor)

Time 84 minutes

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