Elements of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and Groucho Marx all rolled into one, along with Stanley Tucci’s unique vision make this film what it is … a delightful escapade.
Stanley Tucci wrote and directed this wacky look at two down on their luck actors (Arthur, played by Tucci and Maurice, played by the ever lovable Oliver Platt) trying to get work and food any way they can. In recompense for a perceived kindness, they’re given tickets to “Hamlet” starring a British actor who they feel is a hack, and end up insulting him in public. They escape an altercation by hiding in a crate which leads them to become stowaways on a cruise ship upon which Burtom, the lousy British actor is vacationing. In order to escape detection, they pose as porters and so begins a very funny tale of mistaken identities, strange, over-the-top characters and a very clever boatload of cliches.
This is set in the 1920’s or 30’s, so think comedic melodrama when you watch this. The men discover that the first mate is really a spy trying to blow up the ship and that a fake French couple plan to rob some rich people then kill them. All the while, they desperately try to elude Burtom who they keep bumping into no matter where they go or what they do.
British actor Billy Connolly has a wonderfully ludicrous role as an oversexed gay character who keeps hitting on Maurice with deliciously descriptive details. Steve Buscemi appears as a morosely depressed singer by the name of Happy Franks who has no luck trying to commit suicide.
Tucci is an enormously talented actor-director. His first film “Big Night” enthralled me and this one floored me. I was a little unsure when the film started out because I didn’t know where it was going with that first rather long silent scene. But, folks, wait it out because it just gets better and better and from the time they reach the ship to the end, it’s a gem. But, if “madcap comedy” is not your cup of tea, steer clear, because this is as madcap as they get. But for those whose cup of tea it is, Lotta says there are details in “Imposters” that are very clever indeed and you won’t want to miss them.