Oh, This Is Horrible! Why Didn’t You Kill Me?

The slug, above, is just one example of the achingly bad dialogue from the movie “Tough Guys Don’t Dance“, written, adapted and directed by none other than Norman Mailer. He could have done us all a favour and left with just the writing credit. Pawn wasted a couple precious hours of his life last night watching this exemplar of bad acting, as Ryan O’Neal, Issabella Rossellini and Debra Sandlund cavort through a pathetic mystery involving several meaningless murders and several meaningless characters.

Debra SandlundIssabella Rossellini

A particularly humorous scene involves O’Neal and Rossellini’s characters, an apparently adventurous couple, deciding to go visit “The Big Stoop,” a babtist preacher who’s into wife swapping on the side, played by none other than Penn Jillette, of Penn and Teller fame. That character’s name, by the way, derives from the fact that he’s sexually well endowed, but a little dim. Not enough of a man for Sundland, it seems.

John Bedford Lloyd turns in perhaps the most intelligent performance, made even more striking by the stilted and improbable dialog, such as “I am so wrong for this kind of imbroglio.” I’d swear that Kevin Spacey based his performance in “Midnight in the garden of good and evil” on Lloyd’s efforts.

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