One of the best Romantic Comedy title sequences out there (just follow the helicopter to the mug):
For me, So I Married an Axe Murderer is everything 1990s. It is the self-conscious Mike Myers schtick from Saturday Night Live, it is San Francisco embraced, and it is the best darn soundtrack for lifting your spirits, especially today.
SIMaAM was not received well in ’93 (the late, great film critic, Roger Ebert, called it “a mediocre movie with a good one trapped inside”), Mike Myers was always hit or miss with fans (except when paired with Dana Carvey to create “Wayne” and “Garth”), and the overall product is sloppily edited with montages that prove more awkward than endearing.
I remember my middle brother telling me that he and his friend were the only people in the theatre when So I Married an Axe Murderer came out. “I’ll wait until it’s out on rent,” I said.
A couple months later, after a visit to Video Plus on the left side of the King Soopers grocery store, I popped in the VHS tape and was immediately hooked when The Boo Radleys sang “There She Goes” to the opening helicopter shot. Despite some Mike Myers blunderings and dated comedic oddities, the movie still works on a blundering, odd level.
The thing is, back then, and even today, SIMaAM jumps feet first into an unbridled optimism for life, the Romantic Comedy genre, “The City by the Bay,” and the butterflies in your stomach when you like someone. The comedy is in the title, and, yes, the title is a one-trick-pony that keeps you guessing and hoping it’s not true despite how much Charlie (Myers) wants things to work out with Harriet (Nancy Travis).
I needed a laugh last night (like many of us do these days) and a dose of nostalgia. I was grateful for my much younger and patient wife to sit next to me as I delved back in time to a movie of my naive childhood.
My middle brother reminded me about delineating the scope in which we viewed movies during this naivety and the one we see through as adults. Later, with maturity, we can “get” the jokes we didn’t get before and see right through a movie’s weakness that was easily forgiven as a young, amateur moviegoer who didn’t know any better.
Last night, I enjoyed both scopes, and I enjoyed the memory of my brother watching this nutty movie for the first time as well.
“I find my brother in there / Deep in my heart / I find my brother in there /
Hold in my arms / I love you”
-“Brother” by Toad the Wet Sprocket (right before the infamous honeymoon ending)
So I Married an Axe Murderer is the large cup of cappuccino when there were only 11 Starbucks stores nationwide in 1993. “Hello?!”
So I Married an Axe Murderer is the SNL beloved Phil Hartman cameo as the grim reaper Alcatraz guard.
So I Married an Axe Murderer is San Francisco. Other than Full House, my knowledge of San Francisco landmarks was thin as a kid. SIMaAM postcards the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Telegraph Hill, Diamond Heights, and any colorful nook and cranny you might be attracted to in “The City,” circa ’90s.
It’s Alan Arkin playing the likeable precinct captain/father figure character he will continue to play in about six movies after this one.
How about Anthony LaPaglia, who wants so desperately a precinct captain who will yell at him, throw things, and lay down the law?
So I Married an Axe Murderer is a momentous soundtrack, featuring what they called “Alternative Music” at the time: Spin Doctors, Soul Asylum, Big Audio Dynamite II…
It’s Mike Myers again, playing his Scottish dad with such a garbled accent, some of the jokes heard in ’93 are just as incoherent 27 years later!
Most importantly, So I Married an Axe Murderer is an innocent, funny, 93-minute escape – escape much welcomed indoors when we can’t go outdoors.
She was a thief
You gotta believe
She stole my heart and my cat…
Get me off this crazy thing…