Chevy Chase and the rest of the cast give decent accounts of themselves here.
A commentary track from Chevy Chase and some of the cast members would have been nice.
Funny Money is yet another take on the misplaced briefcase/mistaken identity theme. Based on Ray Cooney's British play, Chevy Chase is Henry Perkins, a mild mannered man who accidentally picks up the wrong briefcase on the subway. To Henry's surprise, he opens up the briefcase and there is $1 million dollars inside. Most people would do the right thing and bring this money to the police. Others would see this find as a chance to get out from under, and start a brand new life on some Caribbean Island.
Which way do you think Henry Perkins is thinking?
With wife Carol (Penelope Ann Miller) urging him to return his ill gotten gains, Henry soon finds that he has a lot more friends. Most notably, people who could make his life really hard like Police Officer Genero (Armand Assante), Henry and his wife's best friends, as well Mr. Big (Zoltan Butuc) who very much wants his money back. Of course, Henry makes almost every bad decision before he gets around to making some good ones, but the comedy of this movie is seeing this actor try and unpaint himself out of his very precarious position.
All About the Money and Looking for Comedy In Romania
I wasn't going to put these two featurettes together and then I watched them and I realized that All About the Money was less then 3 minutes long, and Looking for Comedy In Romania features the same kind of subject matter only longer. All About the Money simply looks at what this movie is about. It examines it's story, a few of the characters, and that is about it. Looking for Comedy In Romania goes a bit more in-depth into the characters, but the big portion of this release laments how this movie got made because the creators agreed to set it in Romania. On top of that, this movie was hit with many production problems, accidents, and other things that made for a very rigorous shoot. If you are short on time, simply watch Looking for Comedy In Romania that will give you all the information you need on this movie's backstory.
Poster and Still Gallery
Behind the Scenes
Done in very cinema verite type way, we get to see how this production was from a casual observer's perspective. Actors run through the scenes, various people (mostly crew) mug for the cameras, but this actually has a nice, unslicked feel to it. There doesn't seem to be any agenda other than to record what was going on. I guess this surprises me because Funny Money is a simple straight to video movie but a featurette like this helps set it apart.
Widescreen Presentation - 1.78: 1. Enhanced for 16x9 TVs. This movie seemed like it was made on a budget. Also, the lighting, both indoors and outdoors, seemed markedly different when contrasted against one another. Something tells me that this film was shot on high definition video. It just didn't look sharp and in a lot of ways, it felt like a play that had been brought to the small screen. While this can and can't be a problem, in a lot of ways I thought this movie was claustrophobic because so much of it took place in the same location.
Dolby Digital Stereo. The audio on Funny Money was okay. I was surprised at how loud I had to turn up my TV set, but all DVDs are mixed differently, so I can't assume that the sound is going to be the same for all. I was able to hear everything but this movie just had a flat tone to it overall. Maybe I should have been watching it on a better system, but I tend to think that that would not have helped matters. The best I can say is that the audio was decent.
Chevy Chase is front on center on this DVD cover which features some of the other cast members in an artfully rendered drawing. Money seems to be coming out of his ears here. The back features more artwork, some still photos from this movie, a description of what Funny Money is about, a Special Features listing, a cast list and some technical specs. Sadly, very little about this packaging says anything but straight to DVD.
All in all, Funny Money is just okay. The story isn't that original and the acting, on everybody's part, seems less than inspired. As I was watching this film I couldn't help but wonder when Chevy Chase began to take the easy way out as an actor. This is a guy who in the 1980s and even some of the 1990s, was a brilliant comedic talent. He could play funny, he could do serious, and he could merge the two like very few comedic actors at that time. He filled a void left by such actors as Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy, who didn't seem to be able to do Chevy Chase's brand of comedy.
Seeing him in Funny Money, Chase is okay but it seems like he could be worlds better. He just seems to have fallen into this wide eyed, bumbling persona and he's so much more than that. He could do comedy without having to telegraph it. He could make people laugh simply by using a deadpan facial expression. How in the world do you let that go? I am still holding out hopes that I haven't seen the last of the actor that appealed so much to me in the first place.
Funny Money was released January 1, 2006.