Thursday, December 10, 2009

Guilty Pleasure 10: Young Einstein

The summer of 1989 was an incredible year for the movies. Among the films out that year were "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," "Ghostbusters II," "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," and "When Harry Met Sally." But one studio in particular had a plan for how to rule the summer. That was Warner Brothers. They would dominate the first half of the summer with a little film called "Batman," and that they did. As for the second half of the summer, they looked to an Australian known as Yahoo Serious.

Well, "Young Einstein" didn't exactly set the sort of records the caped crusader did, though it was a moderate success. It is certainly one of the oddest offerings from a major studio during that historic summer.

Yahoo Serious, who was apparently possessed by the same demon of hair care that has long tormented the poor soul known as Carrot Top, plays a fictionalized (to say the least) version of Albert Einstein. Through the course of the film Einstein invents a formula for splitting beer atoms, creates rock n roll and designs the first surf board.

There's nothing really laugh-out-loud funny about the movie, but it's hard not to like. In many ways, the exaggerated behavior of most of the cast, not to mention the physical humor, points to some influence from the days of silent comedies. The level of humor is nowhere near what Chaplin or Keaton could pull off, but it brings a certain innocence that just brings a smile to my face.

I guess the world wasn't completely ready for Yahoo Serious. He's only made a few other films to date and none have had as big a release as this one did. In the years that have passed he's tried some other activities, though, like suing Yahoo for stealing his name. I'll give you one guess how that one turned out.