By Richard Winters
My Rating: 0 out of 10
4-Word Review: Schmuck can’t sell shit.
Leon (Arliss Howard) has taken a sales job, but is finding very little luck with it. He meets by chance Larry (Ron Leibman) who is a more seasoned sales professional and who promises to take Leon under his wings and ‘show him the ropes’. Unfortunately for Leon Larry is not very ethical and sells vacuums for a company that he does not actually represent forcing the two to go on the run from a bounty hunter (Alan Austin) who has been hired by the vacuum company to track them down.
I’ve worked in sales at various points in my working life and can attest that it is usually quite thankless and never lives up to the great promises of a high lucrative potential salary that the ads always suggest. The movie lightly touches on these aspects as well as a ‘motivational’ speech given to a group of sales people to get them ‘pumped up’, but it doesn’t go far enough with it. What starts out as a satirical look at life in the sales world quickly devolves into just another contrived and generic comedy/romance.
The plot is also highly illogical, which includes a tidy wrap-up that makes no sense at all. The biggest issue is that Larry pays this bounty hunter not to turn him in, but why bother? Larry has proven to be successful at sales, so why not get a legit sales job as there are always a ton of them around and quit the charade while spending half of his earnings paying off someone that he doesn’t need to. It also doesn’t make complete sense for the bounty hunter to keep accepting the payoff either as eventually the company is going to quit employing him when he is unable to ever manage to find Larry and hire someone else who can, which means Larry will no longer have the need to keep paying him and eventually cut off both of the bounty hunter’s income streams.
Leibman has enough of an acting pedigree that he shouldn’t feel the need to appear in this transparent, low budget, obscurity simply to collect a buck, but with that said he still gives an energetic performance and can be seen sans his usual toupee. Jane Kaczmarek is attractive as the love interest, but Howard is dull in the lead and has a perpetually mopey expression that I found annoying.
A story dealing the trials and tribulations of working a sales job is ripe with comical potential, but this thing, which was filmed on-location in Covington, Georgia, doesn’t even touch the surface. The scene where Larry stupidly drives his Cadillac into a river is the film’s one and only mildly interesting moment, but otherwise this bland movie lacks any type of originality or imagination.
My Rating: 0 out of 10
Released: August 3, 1985
Runtime: 1Hour 30Minutes
Director: Patrick Bailey
Studio: Castle Hill Productions