- Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 37 min. Our contents ratings (0-10): Violence 5; Language 7; Sex/Nudity 2
We continue our remembrance of Robin Williams by reprinting this review of one of his early movies. Visual Parables was just five months old when this review was written.
This delightful comedy abounds with crazy characters that we expect to find in New York City (or in Queens), but the craziest of all is Robin Williams’ Joey O’Brien, the car salesman who lives to sell. Joey also plays around with the many women who are drawn by his charms. Thus it’s poetic justice that he is among the show room hostages seized by the love-crazed Larry, attempting to find out who has been carrying on an
affair with his wife. Secretary at the auto dealership, Donna is the one woman Joey has NOT gone out with — yet to save the others and to buy time, Joey tells Larry that he is the one.
During the next few hours Joey gives the sales performance of his life, walking a tight rope between the hyper tense Larry and the horde of trigger-happy police outside. Though we at first despise the charming rogue who tries to sell a new car to a widow even while she’s standing by her husband’s coffin, by the end of the film we see Joey’s finer qualities coaxed into the open by crisis.
In a society that ranks car salesmen somewhere between bank robbers and kidnappers, it’s fascinating to see Robin Williams’ portrayal. There’s enough truth to justify the stereotype as applying to Joey — yet there’s also human warmth and a willingness to take up the cross for others. Joey just might have been one of those rejects cal led by Jesus.
The language may be too much for church high school groups, but a young adult group will enjoy both the film and a follow-up discussion. Talk about Joey as a gifted person — what is his? How can we misuse our gifts? How can our gifts) contribute to others? Joey says that he knows people — how is this as important to a salesman as his knowledge of the product? Where do you see the cross in the film? Redemption?
Robin Williams' philandering car salesman, broke because of spending so much on his many girlfriends, thinks his big problem is selling 12 cars to save his job by Sunday, & then jealous husband Larry shows up with a gun.