In The Thunderdome: Foul Play v Seems Like Old Times

In 1978, movie audiences ran to see the surreal cuteness of Goldie Hawn paired with the unflappably flippant Chevy Chase in Foul Play. In 1980, Hollywood bet they’d do it again to catch the churlish and girlish combo in Seems Like Old Times, and they did. Now, we throw these two flicks into The Thunderdome because we all know that there can be only one!

First Round: The creators. 

Seems Like Old Times was written by Neil Simon, so we know that it tackles serious relationship issues with a comedic sensibility.

Who's the blonde?

I didn’t know Joyce DeWitt’s blonde sister was in this movie.

Foul Play was directed by Colin Higgins so we know it tackles serious issues of life and death with sidesplitting comedy.

This scene is not in the movie.

Is that a loaded gun in your pocket or…?

ADVANTAGE: Tie

Round 2: The Cast

In Foul Play, Chevy plays a cop named Tony and Goldie plays a librarian named Gloria. They are pitted against a radical group who wants to call attention to their fairly rational quest to get the government to tax the churches by assassinating the pope with the help of a man with a scar, and albino,  a dwarf who is not really a dwarf, and a Turk who may or may not be Turkish.

So if we taxed the church, you wouldn't be trying to kill us?

So if we taxed the church, you wouldn’t be trying to kill us?

In Seems Like Old Times, it is writer Nick and lawyer Glenda against two bank robbers.

Look at them. They even look like bank robbers.

Look at them. They even look like bank robbers.

ADVANTAGE: A minimalist would say Seems Like Old Times, but I’m not a minimalist, so I’ll say Foul Play.

Round 3: The Opening

Both movies start with a drive up and/or down the coast on California Route 1.

In SLOT, Nick drove a AMC Jimmy from Big Sur to Carmel with the bank robbers while Marvin Hamlish played in the background.

Hamlish?

Hamlish?

In Foul Play, Gloria drove a yellow bug around Marin with an under-cover cop named Scotty while Barry Manilow played on the radio. Barry EFFING Manilow. He wrote Copa-freaking-cabana, and you have the nerve to step up to him with Hamlish? Fuck that, you know why? Because Rico wore a diamond. Hamlish didn’t wear no fucking diamond, so shut it.

ADANTAGE: Foul Play.

Round 4: The Setting

Foul Play is set in San Francisco and Seems Like Old Times is set in LA.

ADVANTAGE: Foul Play.

Why? Because FUCK YOU, that’s why.

Round 5: The Chemistry

The chemistry between Gloria and Tony is off the charts in Foul Play. So much so that, in the scene where they finally kiss, Chevy is clearly doing a goofy Goldie impersonation, and it stays in the final cut. See for yourself.

There is so much chemistry between these two in SLOT, that Nick kisses his ex-wife Glenda in front of her current husband Ira, who is played grodingly by Charles Grodin, and it somehow doesn’t seem as odd as it really, really is.

ADVANTAGE: Tie

Round 6: Guest Stars.

Seems Like Old Times also starred Robert Guillaume. Benson. Mother humping BENSON DU BOIS is in this fucking movie. How do you beat that?

In this movie, someone else gets the door.

In this movie, the door is opened for Benson.

I’ll tell you how. Stanley Tibbits. The funniest mother fucker in the movie, Dudley Moore, plays the funniest character in any movie. Stanley Tibbits. Poor Stanley has learned everything about sex from the Penthouse Forum, and he believes every word. When he finally gets a live woman in his “beaver trap”, she is surprised and confused by his behavior (and a little impressed at his proclivity for shopping by mail.) He is left feeling ashamed and a little violated.

Don't look at me!

Don’t look at me!

If you think I’m exaggerating. Watch this. It will be the best eight and a half minutes of your life. Trust me.

Stanley shows up later in a happy ending massage room in a Soma Victorian that looks a lot like the Soma Victorian that I lived in, but it was not the same one, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Stanley Tibbits steals the scene again by immediately using the terms “pussy pie” and “afternoon delight” with unselfconscious glee.

Take your time, Pussy Pie.

Take your time, Pussy Pie.

ADVANTAGE: Foul Play

Round 7: Sassy brunettes who basically save everyone with their sassiness.

In Foul Play, Stella, who is on constant look-out for the Stanley Tibbits of the world, lends Gloria a loud rape alarm, some mace and brass knuckles. Gloria later uses these items to escape from Turk who may or may not be Turkish.

No one messes with Stella.

No one messes with Stella.

In SLOT, Aurora, who is famous for having her feet scraped and making the world’s best pepperoni chicken, catches the bank robbers, with the help of Glenda’s dogs while she is out getting her feet scraped and pointedly not making pepperoni chicken.

And then I saw these two gringos...

And then I saw these two gringos…

ADVANTAGE: Seems Like Old Times.

Round 8: Pick-Up Lines

In Foul Play, Tony tries this one on Gloria, “What do you say? Would you like to take a shower?” It does not work.

In SLOT,  Nick tells Gloria that there is an exact representation of her face on the walls of a Mexican prison, and it sort of works.

ADVANTAGE: Seems Like Old Times.

Round 9: Fight Scenes

In Foul Play, Burgess meredith fights Rachel Roberts, using what he learned in “Jungle Training” against what she apparently learned in a women’s prison.

Ah...the old priceless painting over the head maneuver. Learned it in 'Nam.

Ah…the old priceless painting over the head maneuver. Learned it in ‘Nam.

In SLOT, Ira had to fight the dogs for the bed.

You make them move.

You make them move.

ADVANTAGE: Foul Play

Oh? Don’t believe me? The action starts at 5:48. You’re welcome.  

Round 10: Final Epic Scene

In Foul Play, Tony crashes car after car on a race across the city (or more accurately  up and down the same hills over and over) to stop the Pope from being killed at The Mikado. Yes. That’s right. It’s not a car chase. No one is chasing them. Tony is just driving so fast that he keeps crashing cars in spectacular fashion. There is even an homage to Silver Streak, Higgin’s previous film. See if you can spot it.

In SLOT, there is an epic boss comes over to dinner scene. The boss is Stanley, the governor of California, the dinner is pepperoni chicken that Aurora did not make, and the server is drunk.

ADVANTAGE: Foul Play

Bonus round: 

In Foul Play, a couple of old ladies talk about old lady shit while coming up with filthy Scrabble words. Just watch it.

What do you got, SLOT? That’s right. You got nothing.

ADVANTAGE: Foul Play

Oh! And it’s a knock out! Thanks for playing Seems Like Old Times, but Foul Play just wanted it more.

One response to “In The Thunderdome: Foul Play v Seems Like Old Times

  1. Both of the old ladies were wrong. That word isn’t hyphenated, but it also doesn’t have a U.

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