City Slickers

June 7, 1991. Despite the notable release of another odd Spike Lee movie, this week was won by more middle-of-the-road culture. It was the week that the original run of Twin Peaks ended. The #1 and #2 songs on the Billboard charts were “More Than Words” by Extreme and “I Wanna Sex U Up” by Color Me Badd. And the #1 movie was a nice normal comedy about wisecracking Billy Crystal birthing a cow to cope with the boredom of middle aged, middle class existence.

Like JUNGLE FEVER, CITY SLICKERS is about some lives upended and rearranged after a married man has an affair with a subordinate at his workplace. In this case the dude is Phil Berquist (Daniel Stern, C.H.U.D., FRANKENWEENIE), a wet blanket grocery store manager who is very unhappily married to a mean bully (Karla Tamburrelli, “Stewardess [Northeast Plane],” DIE HARD 2) until panicked young clerk Nancy (Yeardley Smith, then in her third season as the voice of Lisa Simpson) finds him outside of work to tell him she thinks she’s pregnant.

“Why is she telling you this?”

The scene goes down at the 39th birthday party of Mitch Robbins (43 year old Billy Crystal, ANIMALYMPICS) and inspires Phil to unleash twelve years of suppressed fury at his wife in front of the Robbins family and all their friends. If this was reality he’d for sure be the bad guy here, but we’ve already been primed to hate how this horrible wife talks to him and feel victory in him telling her off.

Of course the central character is Mitch, who is unhappy with his life for reasons that have nothing to do with his wife Barbara (Patricia Wettig, St. Elsewhere, Thirtysomething), who he would never cheat on. Examples of his indignities include his boss (Jeffrey Tambor, THREE O’CLOCK HIGH, BRENDA STARR) criticizing his work and his son Danny (helium-voiced little Jake Gyllenhaal in his first acting role) being for some reason hugely ashamed of him and trying to lie about his job at career day. When Mitch explains that he actually works at WBLM radio some little shit in the class lets out a loud groan of disappointment. (What kind of a shitty-ass radio station is this that these kids find it so offensive?) Mitch’s failed presentation is preceded by hyperbole from construction worker Robert Costanzo (DIE HARD 2), part of a theme that Mitch feels inferior for not building anything, and/or for not doing so-called man’s work. Rugged work. Callused hand work. Cowboy type stuff.

(Note: Danielle Harris has one line as “Classroom Student” even though she’d already been a lead in HALLOWEEN 4 and 5, plus Seagal’s niece in MARKED FOR DEATH.)

Nice poster by John Alvin, who also did THE ROCKETEER, SOAPDISH, ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO and many others around this time.

It’s Barbara who buys the “men can’t stop themselves from fucking somebody else” theory, arguing that Mitch will find himself in his buddy’s place if he stays this unhappy, even though that doesn’t seem to fit his personality or values. It sounds better when she rephrases her request as “go and find your smile.”

Fortunately his other best friend Ed (Bruno Kirby, THE GODFATHER PART II, WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM) is always planning thrill-seeking buddy trips that Barbara has characterized as “desperate attempt[s] to cling to youth,” and he’s already bought them tickets for a thing where you pay money to have an adventure driving cattle from New Mexico to Colorado. “It’s the newest thing!” raves Phil. “People do this! It’s great!”

(This is also how they get most of the people who work in Amazon warehouses.)

So they go on the trip and meet ranch owners Clay (Noble Willingham, HIT!, BLIND FURY) and Millie (Molly McClure, ARTHUR 2: ON THE ROCKS) as well as their fellow tourists: ice cream entrepreneurs Barry (Josh Mostel, FIGHTING BACK) and Ira (David Paymer, NO HOLDS BARRED) seem to be a fictionalized non-hippie version of Ben & Jerry; Ben (Bill Henderson, TROUBLE MAN, FLETCH) and Steve (Phill Lewis, HEATHERS) are father and son dentists; and Bonnie (Helen SUPERGIRL Slater, who does not share any scenes with her LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN co-star Yeardley) is, as Wikipedia puts it, “a young beauty with a recent romantic break-up.” The dudes all immediately pay attention to her and she finds a connection with Mitch since he’s the main character, but he awkwardly/presumptuosly blurts out that he’s married. Ed later makes fun of him for it, but Bonnie is not really given an opportunity for her own response. As you might guess, the movie seems to imply that she will fall for conveniently single Phil, but luckily doesn’t waste much time on that.

Obviously they escape their dull lives into a different world that’s kind of like a western, so fortunately this ranch (through lack of accountability, I think, not as an intentional service for guests) employs some rapey fuckos to be the villains. Jeff (Kyle Secor, Homicide: Life On the Street) and T.R. (Dean Hallo) corner Bonnie while she’s practicing lasso techniques and won’t let her leave. (What are they planning on doing? Is this a BILLY JACK movie?) Mitch does the right thing and stands up to them, telling them that “this isn’t exactly ‘90s behavior,” knowing they may beat his ass… but a heroic silhouette of machismo rides in on horseback to threaten the attackers, throw a knife near their dicks, etc. Mitch thinks it’s the manliest shit he’s ever seen in his life, he’s in straight up awe of this guy Curly (Jack Palance, BATMAN).

But he also thinks Curly is scary and jokes about him being a psycho. This is far from the first movie where someone’s talking shit and realizes that the person is standing right behind them, but could it be the first where he notices everyone’s silence and says, “He’s behind me, isn’t he?” Probly not, but I couldn’t find an earlier example.

Curly points out that Mitch always makes wiseass comments about him, and Mitch admits he’s that way for everybody. They end up having a nice talk where Curly waxes poetic about his cowboy lifestyle and that “We’re a dyin’ breed.” This romanticized manly lifestyle that Mitch feels he’s lacking isn’t even a thing anymore, it seems. A major turning point is when Curly makes Mitch reach into a cow to pull out a calf – a horrifyingly realistic effect with a really funny gag about him pointing his finger while covered in slime – but the scene is played for sweetness, not gross out humor, and he ends up very attached to the calf (who he names Norman).

Just as suddenly as Curly is Mitch’s personal guru, he turns up dead of natural causes, and they feel authorized to just bury him there in the desert. To make this go over better, one of the ranch employees, Cookie (Tracy Walter, also BATMAN) says it’s what he would’ve wanted. But later we find out Cookie is a total nut who drives the wagon off a cliff and breaks both of his legs, so I’m not sure he’s the one to listen to.

Once Curly is gone, T.R. and Jeff become bullies again, it turns into a fight and Phil puts a gun to one of their heads and comes very close to pulling the trigger. Almost turned into a very different movie there! Instead the jerks abandon them and the on-their-own tourists decide to cowboy up and drive the herd to Colorado themselves before an impending storm. What’s kind of interesting is that it turns into a serious adventure movie for the last act, with some harrowing footage of the herd and flooding.

This is also about Mitch, Phil and Ed bonding, and there’s a big emotional scene where Ed reveals how damaged he is by his dad cheating on his mom. I didn’t really understand why he kept trying to get Mitch to check out other women and stuff, while leaving Phil alone about his infidelity, but maybe a less obvious psychological profile is more authentic. Bonnie teases them a little about talking about baseball all the time, which indeed they do, including nostalgia about stadiums, “Mickey,” “Henry Aaron,” etc. It made me think jesus, I hope I’m not that tiresome talking about movies.

There are some legitimate chuckles. When Ed tries to imitate cries from a John Wayne movie Clay says very sincerely, “That’s a good yahoo, son.” Phil introduces himself by saying “I committed adultery.” There’s plenty of cornier stuff, like Mitch not understanding that his portable coffee grinder caused a stampede. And there’s mild homophobia when Mitch makes some joke about “sashaying” to avoid the draft. Another dated joke involves how confusing it was to make a VCR successfully record one channel while you were watching another channel, which I had no choice but to nod my head to.

When they first meet Ben and Steve, who are Black, Steve takes a comment as being racial, and his dad scolds him for it. Not only does this never come up again, but the two of them get sidelined when they volunteer for the task of bringing injured Cookie to safety, i.e. leaving the movie until the end. I’m not sure why they brought up racial tension if they weren’t going to do anything with it.

At the end they deliver the herd, and find out they’re going to be sold as meat, and are sad. Mitch says, “Those cows trusted us!” Again, though, this is played for genuine emotion and not a cheap laugh, which I can respect.

CITY SLICKERS was well reviewed, and became a massive hit (#5 at the box office for all of ’91). It’s not really my type of movie, but it’s appealing enough and well made, even shot by Dean Semler (ROAD WARRIOR, RAZORBACK, DANCES WITH WOLVES), so the western vistas look really good, and the score by Marc Shaiman (MISERY) is very MAGNIFICENT SEVEN-ish. The character of Curly is lovable in sort of a Mr. Miyagi type of way, and just like Pat Morita in that role, Palance received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. And he won! He famously did one-armed pushups on stage while accepting, to show how manly he still was in his advanced age.

Palance almost couldn’t do the role because of scheduling issues, so they went to Charles Bronson, who didn’t like that the character died. But imagine a world where Charles Bronson got an Oscar for CITY SLICKERS and was the star of THE LEGEND OF CURLY’S GOLD. Could’ve happened.

As you know, the 1994 sequel brings back Palance to play the twin brother of Curly, an homage to A BETTER TOMORROW 2. Unfortunately it’s not a role reversal thing where he’s a cowboy who comes into town to visit Mitch and friends and it’s kind of a DEATH WISH version of New York City so they get killed and he has to figure out on his own how to catch a subway back to his hotel. Wouldn’t have worked if it was Bronson but since it was Palance that’s obviously what they should’ve done and it’s shameful that they made some bullshit about hidden treasure instead. Cowards.

Stern was also a late addition, replacing Rick Moranis. So go back in time, step on a few butterflies, we could maybe have a Charles Bronson/Rick Moranis team up. If the Timecops don’t stop us.

The script is by the team of Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel, prolific ‘70s sitcom writers (The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley) who had already written NIGHT SHIFT, SPLASH, SPIES LIKE US, GUNG HO, THE MONEY PIT, VIBES and PARENTHOOD. They’ve worked with Ron Howard and Billy Crystal multiple times, so they’re legends of this type of not-bad normal people entertainment.

But it’s only the second movie for director Ron Underwood, his first of course being TREMORS. He did not return for the CITY SLICKERS sequel, instead following with the less successful HEART AND SOULS, SPEECHLESS, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG and then the notorious flop THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH. It goes without saying that he’s now a prolific TV director.

Cultural references:

They mention RED RIVER and DELIVERANCE, sing the theme songs for Rawhide and Bonanza, also “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds,” and Crystal makes jokes about the moonwalk (when his horse backs up) and Bob Vila/This Old House. There’s a very forced reference where he says, “Norman, what are ya, Gene Kelly? Let’s go,” because it’s raining. You see because SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN also has rain during part of it. I feel like he could’ve done better than that, though not required in this type of “wiseass guy says wiseass stuff for a while then it turns kinda sweet for a minute and you go ‘awwww’ and then he says a wiseass thing again” type of role.


Phill Lewis (Steve) was later the wacky “Tee Vee” in ACES: IRON EAGLE III and then became best known for the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, which also led to directing for TV. Danielle Harris (Classroom student) went on to star in most horror movies that exist. Jake Gyllenhaal (Danny) starred in PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME.

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30 Responses to “City Slickers”

  1. Thank you for pointing out the main characters are supposed to be YOUNGER THAN I AM NOW

    That sure is a troublesome revelation…

  2. This was one of those perfectly fine movies that was good to watch with the parents. It made me laugh a few times. It made me feel some feelings with the sweeping music and scenery and even though I wasn’t a middle aged man, the writing and acting was good enough that I could empathize with them. It’s got a few memorable moments or lines, but it’s innocuous vanilla fluff that goes down sweet and doesn’t leave you wanting more, but doesn’t leave an aftertaste either.

    Vern, it makes perfect sense to me that Ed would be the way he is with the father trauma. Unfortunately, a lot of people deal with trauma by pretending it wasn’t so bad, and in fact it was actually a good thing, so it’s worth repeating. That’s why a lot of abuse is cyclical.

  3. You don’t think if it were raining out and you werent’ moving fast and you were Billy Crystal you wouldn’t make a Gene Kelly joke?

  4. Pacman II: The Legend of Professor Pac's Gold

    June 8th, 2021 at 11:15 am

    My main memory of this is being surprised when they implied Yeardley Smith was scandalously young (turns out she was about 26 playing a youthful looking 20 year old, but everyone over 18 looks way over it when you’re under it). At some point one of the women says “what is it with men and baseball?” or something. The cartoon titles are cute. I think that’s genuinely all I remember.

    I saw LEGEND OF CURLY’S GOLD before I saw this, from memory it pretty much lives down to its punchline status, but weirdly I remember it more clearly than the first. One weird bit is that Jon Lovitz’s character talks about being a Pet Detective, and the whole scene is played as “can you believe this nut with his crazy made-up job?”; I guess it was bad luck for them that ACE VENTURA came out between filming and release.

    I feel like he’s an easy target these days and sometimes unfairly, but it seems to me that Billy Crystal spoke very strongly to Baby Boomers, and very little to everyone else, but it didn’t look like that when the Boomers had so much of the cultural power. In his review of POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE Ebert said that the titular creatures “have personalities that make the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles look like Billy Crystal”. I did not really understand what that was supposed to mean at the time, and the years since have only made it less clear to me.

    His guest role on THE CRITIC was great though.

  5. IMDb says Clint was the first choice for the Curly role but couldn’t make time for it.

    Saw this last fall on HBO and it didn’t hold up as well for me as when I saw it as a kid. I did make the connection that the 90s weren’t really that good for Crystal movie-wise apart from this and ANALYZE THAT which came out towards the end of the decade.

    It’s not because they were so closely associated and good friends, but Crystal’s highs were more like Robin Williams’ in the sense that they were really more natural as live performers then actors. They both have been in some good, and even great movies but they were more fun to watch on talk shows or when they did COMIC RELIEF or the stand-up specials.

    Crystal might shoulder some more of the blame than Williams since he often wrote stuff for himself. For what it’s worth though, 700 SUNDAYS was funny and touching and you can see how much of his real life informed something like this or some of the other movies he directed and wrote himself like MR. SATURDAY NIGHT and FORGET PARIS.

  6. Boy, it’s interesting how many ’90s movies, through American Beauty, made us root for the emasculated guy against his horrible bitch wife. Excuse me, there are two people in a marriage. She didn’t become that way in a vacuum. What was he doing this whole time?

    I haven’t seen City Slickers in many years so I don’t doubt that some of it has aged poorly. But in 1991 this was one of the best movies ever. It was peak Billy Crystal one-liner which he really couldn’t sustain past the following Oscars. From Ganz/Mandell it had that comedy/drama sweet spot like Parenthood and their subsequent A League of Their Own. Now that I’m 43, it is hard to imagine having a midlife crisis at 39, but keep in mind in 1991 this was the buzzword of our parents’ generation. The idea that you could solve it by having an adventure was profound, if a bit naive. Those meaningful conversations on horseback worked for me as a 13-year-old, but maybe that’s as advanced as my maturity was at that age. Again, I also bought into the shrew wife stereotype.

    Another notable aspect was that Kirby hated the production. I can imagine it was difficult being on location, and that’s why he’s not in the sequel and they got Jon Lovitz. I like the sequel too (of course I do). I thought they did as good a job as possible dealing with missing characters (Mitch does have to accept that Duke is not Curly, he has some new stuff with his brother to work out and he has different issues than a midlife crisis). It had the same meaningful horseback life lessons, some good adventure and comic set pieces. I think it’s one of the best examples of you just can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice. Three years later people had moved on, so the same thing didn’t work again.

  7. That whole thing in FORGET PARIS where his father in law says out loud things they’re driving past, like billboard ads and stores and such, and then the wife starts doing it…man. I will find myself doing that on occasion and after swearing I stew in self hatred that is way out of proportion to the offense.

  8. I kinda wish opening credits with cartoon versions of the protagonist would still be a thing. The last one I remember was FOUR ROOMS.

    Fred, I don’t wanna overthink something that is just a dated joke in a 30 year old movie, but an abusive relationship can happen without the victim’s fault, even if the victim is a man.

  9. I guess WAR OF THE ROSES was the most even-handed film to deal with an unhappy marriage in an entertaining way, although I’m sure it probably skewed male. A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM, from 1990, and which I wanted to watch as a kid purely because it was advertised on the bottom of my VHS tape of SPACED INVADERS, was the perhaps more honest bookend to AMERICAN BEAUTY.

  10. Franchise Fred

    June 8th, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    CJ, you’re absolutely right. Abuse is the abuser’s fault. I didn’t consider the marriages in City Slickers or American Beauty abusive. Perhaps they were emotionally. But, I don’t think Annette Bening’s character was abusive. I think she overcompensated for having a husband not sharing the load. We don’t get to know Phil’s wife as much, and we really only get his perspective.

    But, full disclosure, this is my baggage after my own divorce where I felt my ex really was not a partner and I tried to hold up both our ends until it was just unsustainable. So, I learned nothing from ’90s comedies is what I’m saying.

  11. It made me think jesus, I hope I’m not that tiresome talking about movies.

    i think i speak for everyone when i say “not possible”

  12. Jesus, this was 1991?! In my subjective memory I would have placed this 2-3 years before Jungle Fever, Thelma & Louise and other of its contemporaries that you’re reviewing.

    I hope, hope, hope we get a bonus review of City Slickers 2 out of this, because it’s a pretty fascinating failure. CS1 isn’t the most original thing in the world, but it was a solid comedy that works for what it is and has a heartfelt core to it. CS2 was weirdly cynical, with Mitch’s sole motivation being to find gold and become rich. In CS1 he went off to find his smile and came home vowing to do his job better. In CS2 he was like, fuck that, I want gold so I can quit my job, and it NEVER comes back around, it stays that mercenary all the way through. So weird. It implausibly contorts itself to bring original cast members back who have no good reason for being there, and fails to explain why one huge cast member who should have been there (Kirby) but wasn’t. It also has one of the most clumsily tacked in reshoot endings I’ve ever seen (that’s documented, not just my supposition that it was reshot). It’s definitely worth a look just because it was such an interestingly bad follow up.

  13. Ah geez, you’re gonna make me watch it, aren’t you?

  14. Franchise Fred

    June 8th, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Ben, I also hope we get a Curly’s Gold review. I understand the criticism that he’s out for self interest and gold but I think that’s unfair and missing some of the sequel’s themes.

    He’s not having another midlife crisis, but he just had this profound experience on a cattle drive and it’s staying with him. He did bond with Curly and has unresolved issues with his sudden death. So fulfilling Curly’s plan with the gold seems like a way to resolve that. Then He also has to accept that Duke is not his Curly.

    I think the Lovitz brother introduces some new themes. Stern is the biggest rehash but not entirely unreasonable to suggest the cattle drive didn’t totally 100% solve all of everyone’s problems.


    Yeah, that reshoot does feel arbitrary in retrospect. Didn’t bother me at age 16 but clearly the film was about the journey being more important than the destination, but then they got test cards and decided to give ‘Em the gold. Also much more realistic that an old cowboy had an idea for a theme park than that he’d actually found buried gold in 1994.

  15. I think CITY SLICKERS and I think Jack Palance and his famous unscripted one-arm push up at the Oscars.

    I also think of this immortal line from Curly:

    Mitch: You kill anybody today, Curly?

    Curly: Day ain’t over yet

    CITY SLICKERS II can probably share shelf-space with ANALYZE THAT i.e dreadfully unfunny follow-ups to perfectly decent Billy Crystal comedies.

  16. I tried to re-watch this a couple of months back, and found it surprisingly unfunny. I used to like it, but this time Crystal just came off as a yuppie complaining about petty shit and Palance wasn’t funny or especially good at all.

    I wonder what the role as Curly would have done for the career of Crystal’s first choice, Bronson, though?

  17. While I sometimes think that Vern is too soft on bad movies, I do appreciate the flipside of reviews like these, where he’s appreciative of well-made or interesting movies even if they’re not his cup of tea. Much more refreshing than trying to turn, say, xXx: State of the Union into THE WORST MOVIE EVER!!!!

    To add to the discussion of movie marriages, has there ever been a scumbag husband (not abusive, just crappy) in a movie whose wife goes “yeah, he’s a louse, but I haven’t been keeping up my end of the marriage either”? It seems like both sexes get assigned to be the villain of the relationship as often as not.

  18. Ah, the world of being a “prolific TV director”. You can get there many ways. Some get there by directing Pluto Nash. Others get there by directing gems like Devil in a Blue Dress or Transsiberian or The Last Seduction. Truly all are welcome…

  19. No worries, Fred. Like I said, I’m not trying to overthink something that is basically just a hacky sitcom trope. (And I really need to rewatch both CITY SLICKERS and AMERICAN BEAUTY for deeper analyzes of “Who is the asshole here?”)

  20. Woah, there was a LAST SEDUCTION II for HBO in 1999 with none of the original cast and written by the guitarist from Del Amitri!

  21. Maggie – that part in FORGET PARIS is the best ever and completely validates that movie to “thumbs up” status for myself, or like I give it the heart on Letterboxd or something, or like the loop symbol with the two arrows for “I have watched that part from FORGET PARIS many times on YouTube, and also several times when working in a video store back in the day”.

    Also, I would like to give it up for the actor from that scene, who deserves credit by name, and also streets named after him and shit. That is WILLIAM HICKEY, from Fred Olen Ray and Eddie Deezen’s MOB BOSS, PRIZZI’S HONOR made by that scrub ass loser no talent bum John Houston (JUST KIDDING JUST KIDDING INCLUDING THE SPELLING!!!!!), the awesome Pete and Pete episode where he is their grandpa, the JERKY BOYS MOVIE (aka KAMAL SMILING: THE MOVIE) and like fifty billion other things.

    Also (and perhaps most notably), William Hickey is a beloved icon of disenfranchised teenagers and fans of gothic style everywhere, from his beloved role of that no good damn son of a bitch nasty ass weird mouthed Dr. Finkelstein from TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, dir. some other guy. It would be funny if there were like goth-era Blink songs where they shout out William Hickey that I don’t know about, should that not exist please any awesome A.P.-style goths out there please feel welcome to write such a song.

    Billy Crystal will always kind of rule to me for literally giving William Hickey his best on-screen moments ever, which is saying a lot. If I met Billy Crystal I wouldn’t feel like, too cool for him or something, I would be like way to go man, Bill Hickey, the best ever. Also please take your hand off your cheek, I only like that when Teri Garr and Jack Benny do it, not you bro. Also I used to have to watch Soap reruns all the time when waiting for The Tracey Ullman Show to be on when I was watching Comedy Central during the summer during the 90s, that sucked, you should go back in time and make them air boring-ass Soap less please.

  22. grimgrinningchris

    June 9th, 2021 at 10:43 am

    You asked for it? You got it… Toooyota…

    Yea, let’s all give it up for the late, great William Hickey…

    Also so notable for his recurring role on Wings as Carlton Blanchard, the most annoying man in the world. Oh, and Christmas Vacation. Oh, and (well as a portrait) the brilliant MouseHunt!

  23. After talking to my wife about my alternate idea for CITY SLICKERS 2 I realized that the boys get mugged and they’re just going to hand over the money and nobody is gonna get hurt but then one of the muggers sees Mitch’s work ID in his wallet, starts angrily questioning him about working at that station and then it escalates and the gun goes off.

  24. Pacman II: The Legend of Professor Pac's Gold

    June 17th, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    Just found I saved a note with my favourite thing about either film, an IMDB Trivia entry for CITY SLICKERS II which it seems was sadly taken off at some point over the last two years;

    “In the original draft, Billy Crystal’s character “accidentally” drops his brother Glenn (Jon Lovitz) into a canyon before an oncoming stampede, killing him. Although it was scrapped after negative screen testing, the scene was eventually used in the Lion King.”

  25. Hickey has a great scene with Steve Martin in MY BLUE HEAVEN, a film I will have to revisit soon

  26. onthewall- You mean:

    Gangster: The frig is this?

    William Hickey: It’s a pahhhpover!

    Coz that’s been lodged in my head for 30 years now.

  27. Same, except for me it’s “It’s a vege-tuh-bull.”

  28. Whatever Billy Crystal’s sins are making lame boomer humor, he is forgiven and elevated to cultural hero for WHEN HARRY MET SALLY.

    As I grow old, and I have been through two divorces but going strong on my third marriage, I know that people’s wives and husbands are almost never as bad as they make them out to be. The lovely person that these people fell in love with turned into the self-righteous monsters through the years of neglect and both-sided emotional abuse that people inflict on each other when they feel trapped, lonely, and helpless.

    There are, of course, true assholes in the world but they are not nearly as common as people would leave you to believe. Still, I don’t mean to dismiss the hardships of the unfortunate few who are hitched to abusive monsters.

    A couple that is friends of my parents who are around 70 years old got divorced recently and my mom tried to paint the guy as some kind of jerk, divorcing his wife after nearly 50 years of marriage. I refused to pass judgement and said “I hope they are both happy after their divorce. Maybe this is for the best.”. I was met with shocked stares, as if I was supposed to side with the woman automatically and pile the blame on the man. Fuck that. Who cares. Maybe they were both unhappy for years and he finally cheated on her just to break the cycle. I don’t care. Divorce is not a bad thing, always. I hope they are both happy. Marriage is supposed to be “forever” but I know lots more miserable married couples than committed and happy ones. Fuck it.

    Like I said, third marriage is going great. I would have never had it if I had not gone through two divorces. Maybe I am better at this shit now, but I think mostly I know now that marriage takes work, and both people must be willing to do that work, and see the other person’s perspective.

    My second wife was a lazy entitled shit though.

  29. Nah it’s the “you dirty rat” scene where him and Martin’s character meet the first time and you cotton on to the fact that his character isn’t the only informant in town.

  30. This comic makes so much more sense now:

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