Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Something Wild


The “road movie” has a long and often distinguished history, probably starting out with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night. The formula: two mismatched people start out for some destination, and along the way fall in love, or learn to respect each other if it’s two guys. Or two girls as in Thelma and Louise, or Outrageous Fortune. It can be a group, too, as in Little Miss Sunshine. Then there is a small genre that I guess we could call “fish out of water” stories. These concern an ordinary person thrown into unusual circumstances with the kinds of people he seldom meets. John Landis’s Into the Night comes to mind, along with Scorsese’s After Hours, This is one of those, and it’s fun, though it turns a lot more serious at the end. Melanie Griffith is good as the wild girl, Jeff Daniels is great in his patented role of the middle-class ordinary guy, and can anyone other than Christopher Walken do creepy as well as Ray Liotta? We liked it.