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How to Get Ahead in Advertising
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It is then, that the supernatural takes over, and Bagley gets a boil on his neck that he believes has begun to turn into a face, causing him to go utterly insane to the horror of his wife who sees nothing but the boil. The insanity multiplies and the boil becomes Bagley's evil advertising alter-ego, and the insanity delves into the depths of all that is great in British black humour.
The boil-alter-ego finally takes over the reformed Bagley identity, and Bagley becomes much worse than he'd ever been.
The script is poignant, if not a little bit preachy on the evils of advertising. But Richard E. Grant gives his heart and soul to make the character fully dimensional and incredibly funny. His insanity is put in perfect perspective by his wife, played sublimely by Rachel Ward, who is as supportive and understanding as she can to a husband who seems to have gone over the brink.
For the originality, commentary, wittiness, acting, quotable dialogue, and pure insanity, this has been one of my favourite movies ever. It's no Citizen Kane (do people really like that movie, anyway! ), but it is without a doubt a must-see, just for the experience!
The humor present here is very dark, and at times could be described as disturbing, so this may not be for everyone's tastes. Obviously, a comedy that centers around an ordinary man accidentally growing a second head isn't going to be something that's geared towards everyone's liking, but if you enjoy off-beat humour and outrageous satire, then this is probably something that will delight you. There's certainly a lot to recommend: the acting is wonderful, the direction is very assured and the writing sparkles. This is one of the few films in which it is almost impossible to predict what will be happening next. Sharply critical of advertising, capitalism, industry, commerce, and half a dozen other subjects, this is something that will make you think in the few moments when it isn't making you laugh.
DVD notes: The film is presented in wide-screen. It looks great and sounds just as good. There isn't much of anything in the way of extras, though it does contain the original theatrical trailer.
I prefer this style of over the top attack much more than the drier and more subtle (!) mode employed by both writer-director Bruce Robinson and Richard E. Grant in their first collaboration, WITHNAIL & I.
The heights of comic outlandishness achieved in HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING is something that is rarely achieved by any film and it is doubly commendable that everything done here ( no matter how tastelessly crazy) still never stoops to the childishly vulgar levels that most American comedies regularly splash about in like mental asylum inmates happily playing with their own feces. Yes, despite everything this film attempts ( and achieves) it still retains a sense of sophistication that shows what thuddingly awful garbage ( i am looking directly at you AUSTIN POWERS, SCARY MOVIE, etc, etc) is usually regarded as the height of comedy. This film knocks them all dead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitely not mainstream - kinky, quirky, and sooo enjoyable - even after all these years!!!Published 4 months ago by Kaybee
A real classic, a hilarious, excoriating jab at commercial brainwashing. Richard E. Grant is fantastic! Definitely recommended.Published 9 months ago by Timoteo
One of my favorite movies of all times. Bizarre and hilarious with great acting....a movie that you can watch over and over and still catch humor and wit that you missed before.Published 12 months ago by Lisa R. White
one of my favorite movies of all times. The absolute best role for Richard E GrantPublished 13 months ago by actors act
This is the movie I go back to when I am in a deep dark hole. There is one scene in the kitchen when the character is freaking out that sends me into laughing hysteria. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Belle
great start, the ending didn't make sense. It didn,t seem that there was a plot. lots of speeches but no suubstancePublished on May 10, 2013 by Bob
I watched this when I was a kid and it blew my mind. Watching again this time with my Mom was a real fun time! Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by SFLovely