Life Stinks

Director: Mel Brooks
Year Released: 1991
Rating: 3.0

Billionaire Goddard Bolt (Brooks), who's planning on taking over a run-down area of Los Angeles, makes a "friendly wager" with real estate developer Vance Crasswell (Jeffrey Tambor) that he can live in abject poverty for thirty days (without any money or credit cards) ... which proves to be an incredibly difficult challenge (he has trouble finding food or shelter) until he's 'saved' by homeless lady - and dancer - Molly (Lesley Ann Warren).  It's too easy to dismiss this non-spoof Brooks movie as a "rich man finds true meaning of life by losing everything" tale, but I believe this came from someplace deep in his heart: there's genuinely a good deal of empathy in this to go along with the gags.  The scene at the hospital where Mel's administered too many doses of Thorazine is both funny and tragic, providing commentary on how the underprivileged aren't given proper medical care and might even be harmed by malpractice.  As years have gone on, this has developed a cult audience, which I think it actually deserves ... and it may, in fact, be the director's best performance (although it's hard to look past President Skroob).