Introducing FilmStruck By Peter Becker
The Criterion release of Something Wild has critics remembering just how fun it is to get lost in Jonathan Demme’s zigzagging 1980s road trip of a movie. Marc Spitz has written a feature on the film for the New York Times (complete with quotes from Demme, star Jeff Daniels, and John Waters, who makes a cameo); the writer considers it a turning point: “The movie’s bold and funny sexuality, carefully handpicked thrift-store art direction, hip cameos, and soundtrack full of cool bands like X and Big Audio Dynamite now seem like a blueprint for the coming auteur-as-curator era of independent film.” For Home Theater Forum, Matt Hough writes, “The movie features superb casting, fluid direction, and an effortless story . . . Something Wild crackles with the same kind of jittery excitement it had upon its initial release.” In the Baltimore Sun, Michael Sragow compares Demme’s film to other iconic eighties comedies, concluding, “It’s got more vitality and spunk than After Hours and Desperately Seeking Susan put together . . . It is engaging, colorful, at times terrifying entertainment.” Thomas Spurlin of DVD Talk calls it “a dark firecracker of a road comedy” and says, “It never loses its infectious, grin-inducing energy.” And in a short video clip from Ebert Presents, critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky calls Something Wild, his home-viewing pick of the week, “a one of a kind movie that deserves to be known as a classic.” He goes on, “To me, it still stands as the best work of Demme’s career.”
Plus: Steve Dollar reviews the film at Greencine Daily.