Wayne's World - 1992
Director(s): Penelope Spheeris
Writer(s): Mike Myers, Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner
Cinematography by: Theo van de Sande
Editor(s): Malcolm Campbell
Cast: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Brian Doyle-Murray, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kurt Fuller, Lee Tergesen, and Chris Farley
Wayne's World is one of the rare comedy films that are ageless, despite it being a satire of a particular slice of Americana. Not only is it a rarity in the comedic genre, but it is also one of the very few SNL sketches to translate, successfully, to the big screen. And it is arguably the best of the crop, with The Blues Brothers and MacGruber rounding out the top three. I recently re-watched Wayne's World for the countless time, and I thought it is about time I talk about it in my public diary. So let's.
The story centers around Wayne Campbell (Myers) and Garth Algar (Carvey). Two friends that run a public-access cable show, Wayne's World, out of the basement of Wayne's house. When Benjamin (Lowe), a hotshot producer, offers them to take them off public-access and pay them to the show, Wayne and Garth's lives change, and at times not for the better. Myers penned the script, and Bonnie and Terry Turner, and the genius of this script come from the world building they implement at the beginning of the film. They showcase the world outside of the three walls we have come to see Wayne and Garth over at SNL, giving them friends, hangout spots and love interests that feel as if they had always been outside that basement. This helps the audience accept them as more than an SNL skit and engage with the story as it unfolds.
One thing you quickly realize while watching this film is how much it influenced countless comedies that came after it. And while the fourth wall breaking element of the film is not original by all means, it allowed the script to hit many jokes that would've not been possible without Wayne or Garth acknowledging the audience. From the sell-out riff to Garth taking the audience under the table to say that the deal Benjamin is offering to the third act playing out as multiple scenarios of how it could've ended. All our thanks to the fourth wall break written into the script. However, the film doesn't entirely depend on this aspect, as it is jammed packed with throwaway jokes that if you don't catch on the first viewing, you will be rewarded with them on your re-watch.
Quick note: I cannot keep going without mentioning one of the best uses of the talents of Ed O'Neill as the manager of the donut shop. All his lines are beyond dark and entirely out of place, and somehow the funniest aspect of the entire film. "You know, if you stab a man in the dead of winter, steam will rise from the wounds. Indians believed it was his soul escaping from his body."
The script is elevated by the effortless performances from every single actor involved. Myers' overconfidence is balanced out by the shyness of Carvey. Both have their moments to shine, but when they share the screen is when the movie is at is best, with them playing street-hockey being my favorite scene of just them. Rob Lowe plays the ultimate 90s bully/villain, to the point that it took me a long time to accept him as the good guy he plays in Parks and Rec. The rest of the cast is perfect. Tia Carrere plays the badass love interest, Lara Flynn Boyle is the obsessed ex-girlfriend, that has a couple of THE funniest moments of the entire film. And of course, the crew that ran the public-access that are part of the famous Bohemian Rhapsody cannot go unmentioned.
Quick note: that scene also gave a second life to the music of Queen and then was bastardized in an unnecessary cameo by Mike Myers in 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Wayne's World went from being a staple on SNL to a cornerstone of the comedic genre. This film represents the prime of Myers and Carvey, a duo that I would put up against almost all the great duos to grace the screen, and it also serves as one of the best examples of what 90s’ comedies offered to the zeitgeist. It is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it is easily one of the most rewatchable comedies of all time as well. It is currently playing on Amazon Prime, and I hope you party on.
Wayne’s World is Why I Love Movies.
If you like this review let me know in the comment section down below. Subscribe to my newsletter so you are always up to date with all my reviews. Also, follow me over at Twitter (@yILovemovies) or over on Facebook if you want to have a conversation about movies.