I joined the Mock Squid Soup Challenge for this month, and the assignment? To choose a movie from the M.S.S. Film Library (these are movies viewed by participants in the past months), watch one, and then connect it to my last M.S.S. movie in a Six Degrees of Separation sort of way! The challenge for this month is to find a connection between one of your movies and one of someone else’s in six films or less.
My movie from the last M.S.S. was Better Off Dead.
I was not sure at the time of choosing Bill & Ted’s what the connections between these movies would be, but a short time into the movie I realized I had a few different paths to choose from. The easiest is:
Diane Franklin, who played “Princess Joanna” in Bill & Ted’s was “Monique” in Better Off Dead. Boom!
Since that was so quick, here’s another slightly more degreed connection:
Dan Shor, who played “Billy The Kid” in Bill & Ted’s was also in Air Force One which starred Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford also starred in Working Girl, along with Joan Cusack. Joan Cusack made appearances in several movies, such as Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, and Grosse Pointe Blank, alongside John Cusack – who starred in Better Off Dead. (And she’s his sister.)
In this movie Bill and Ted, dimwitted, best friends and aspiring rock stars in San Dimas, CA. They are also on the verge of flunking out of school. They must get an A+ on their history presentation in order to pass. They meet Rufus and with his time machine set out on a journey through time to bring famous folks from throughout history to the present day for their presentation.
This viewing was the first time I had seen this movie since it came out, and I watched it with my boy. I think it was a wise choice to watch it with him because it made it more enjoyable than if I had watched it on my own. The humor in the movie (to me) has about the same effect as it did when it came out: more dumb than funny, with characters and catch-phrases that seemed stale and overly-cliched even way back in 1989. Way! However, alongside my 12-year old it was fun to see his reactions to this stuff and laugh along with him. He really guffawed at the revelation that Bill’s “mom” was a senior in high school when Bill and Ted were freshmen. “That’s just wrong.” We both enjoyed the mangling of some of the historical figures’ names (So Crates; Beef Oven.) And I did like one line from Bill,
“Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”
Napoleon’s antics at the “Waterloo Waterpark” in San Dimas were pretty funny, especially when he threw a tantrum when it was time to leave.
The best moment was right at the beginning when the time machine is revealed: a phone booth! My boy turned to me with jaw dropped and said, “‘Doctor Who’ much???”
So my verdict on this movie is that it is a bit humorous to see the historical figures in modern times, but otherwise a forgettable flick. My boy’s verdict: he thought it was really funny and would definitely watch it again. His only complaint? Ben Franklin should have been in it. (He’s a big Ben Franklin fan!)