Sometimes nostalgia makes a film even better when watching again after a long hiatus. Heck, I didn’t even really view it as I was doing work while it played in the background. The memories I had of So I Married an Axe Murderer allowed me to fill in the blanks and create a seamless experience for when I did look at the tv screen. The script itself is very funny and Mike Myers shows all the potential he had a decade and a half ago. Not to say he didn’t live up to it, but I may say he has never matched the brilliance of this, his first big non-SNL character vehicle. Sure he will always be Austin Powers, but to me, I’ll never forget his beatnik poetry and crazy Scottish family.
Myers plays a commitment-phobe who has finally met the woman he believes could be the one to spend the rest of his life with. Unfortunately, his paranoia—and possibly the truth—leads to the discovery that she may be Mrs. X, a serial husband killer at large. The beauty of the movie, though, is that this aspect isn’t the one-joke trick harped on over and over again. Instead we are shown Myers’ family, his police officer friend—Anthony LaPaglia—and his relationship with his police captain (Alan Arkin steals every scene), and the ups and down of dating his new love. It all comes back to the murderous intrigue, but by adding all the other comedic elements to complement, we never get bashed over the head, so when that plot point comes back it never feels stale.
It is the characters that truly succeed to make this film hold up over time. Myers is fantastic as a normal guy, not needing to be a caricature like he seems to enjoy being of late with all his alter egos. What we get instead is maybe a representation of him, an unassuming guy with a sense of humor to win over any woman he meets. His delivery is priceless throughout and he even shows he can do some stunts in the action rooftop scenes towards the end. It’s his turn as the father Stuart that is most memorable. Between the horrible Scottish accent, Coke-bottle eyewear, and crass language, you are laughing before he even gets a chance to speak his lines.
The rest of the cast is great too. Nancy Travis is the perfect love-interest, playing the dual-life card with enough mystery so that we never quite know if she is really the killer until the ending; Amanda Plummer is crazy and eccentric as always playing her sister; LaPaglia has the dumb cop down-pat; and the who’s who of cameos is great. From Phil Hartman to Steven Wright, to Charles Grodin, everyone does his job. It may not be the best comedy out there, but for some reason, if it’s on tv I always find myself glued to the screen needing to watch, or listen as with today, once more, quoting every funny line before it’s spoken.
So I Married an Axe Murderer 7/10 | ★ ★ ★