year: 1991
cast: Mel Brooks
director: Mel Brooks
rating: **

Mel Brooks is a corporate billionaire who wants to buy a lucrative piece of land for an upcoming project that happens to be slums. He needs to purchase the remaining share and in order to do so has to be part of a bet, more of a dare, that he can live almongst the homeless for three days. He does, and through various adventures, learns about the other side. Not a bad movie but it isn't funny. Seems like an idea Mel wrote down and then, the next morning upon re-reading the notes, would think "Nah." Well he didn't say "Nah" and we're left with a two-hour concept. I'm not sure where this fits within the Mel Brooks canon. It's entirely different than any of his other films, not so much a parody... more of an made-for-cable movie that happened to be in theaters... for a short time, I'm sure. If you have a flu and need something passable to watch, you could do worse. The first half, where Mel adapts to his new situation, is better than the last half where he - with his new homeless pals and one scruffy but pretty girlfriend - seeks revenge on the guy he made the bet with in the first place. A 1988 film made by the Unknown Comic (sans the paper sack) and co-starring Linda Blair titled UP YOUR ALLEY tackles this concept, of a person going undercover into the slums, much better.

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