THE TALL GUY
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Emma Thompson,
Rowan Atkinson, Anna Massey,
Emil Wolk, & Geraldine James
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Runtime: 90 minutes
Director: Mel Smith
Producer: Paul Webster
Writer: Richard Curtis
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Dexter's personal life is even worse. Unsuccessful at establishing any meaningful relationships other than with sex-crazed bimbos, he is contrasted with his hyperactive, promiscuous female roommate, Carmen, whose visitors are always male and always naked.
When Dexter develops hay fever, Anderson sends him to an allergy clinic where he meets nurse Kate. He falls instantly in love and undergoes several weeks of painful hay-fever injections in order to make numerous, aborted bumbling attempts to ask her out. Seeing her at a restaurant, Dexter dumps his date and finally summons up the courage to ask Kate out.
Since Kate is the kind of girl who believes in sex before going to dinner, she invites Dexter over for a sexual compatibility test. Engaging in wild, passionate, furniture-smashing fornication, Dexter misses his curtain call and gets fired.
Here the story changes from romantic comedy to scathing satire of the theatrical world, when Dexter gets cast for the leading role in a musical version of THE ELEPHANT MAN, called "Elephant". Ever the fornicator, Dexter commits adultery with a married cast member.
"Elephant" is a huge success, but Kate finds out about Dexter's infidelity and leaves him for comic Anderson. By the end of the film, however, which comes none too soon, they are reunited.
THE TALL GUY says much about the moral decay of Britain, as well as our own. Whether as comedy or satire, the laughs are far and few between. The British humor, often labeled more sophisticated than American humor, moves slowly.
The premise that love can be found by sleeping with people before you get to know them, let alone marry them, is situated in a cesspool of degradation -- degradation of women, of sexuality, of marriage, of the beauty of true love, and even of Christ. Women are portrayed as totally immoral sexpots, and the foundation for love and commitment is defined solely by sexual experience.
Christ is derided in an early scene in which Dexter and Anderson, dressed in nun's habits down to their waists and in tutus from their waists down, are shown dancing and singing in front of a life-sized crucifix of Jesus. Their words are particularly ridiculing of nuns.
The film attempts to make a "tall guy" out of a "fall guy", but, considering the amount of nudity, lewdness, obscenity and profanity that abounds, is this realistic? Of course not. Sin does not beget success, but only more sin for which there is a penalty from God.
The good news, though, is that "if through one man's fall (that is, Adam's) so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift" (Romans 5:15). In other words, this contrast between Adam and Christ shows that Adam introduced sin and death into world; Christ brought righteousness and life. THE TALL GUY, regrettably, is blind to that truth.
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