Playin’ the Game

shaggy balesI love being manipulated by movies. Especially when I don’t see it coming, or when it’s done some way that I’m not used to.

We decided to watch Play the Game because Andy Griffith is in it. What could be more wholesome and good natured! We didn’t notice that the lights had changed.

IMDB says the tagline is “Andy Griffith like you have never seen him before.” It’s true. He says and does things that old people aren’t supposed to do in our culture.

Some of it’s kind of embarrassing and even immature. I am not watching this with my mom ever! Don’t watch it with your not-yet-sexually-active kids. Unless you don’t want to ever have grandchildren. That image of Andy having an orgasm, I just can’t get it out of my head. Darn worthless goggles.

It’s not like Andy has always played a sheriff.  He’s a really mean fellow in A Face in the Crowd. And I recall a TV movie in the 70’s where he sadistically hunted this hippie dude in the desert, then convincingly denied the whole thing when the law showed up. He would have got away with it too if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids! (Not really. Does anybody else remember this or have a name for it?) Somehow his charm always takes the edge off the vulgarity.

The main character is an immature car salesman. Andy is his painfully widowed grandpa. The car guy teaches his grandpa how to date women. Along the way the car guy learns a thing or two about life and love when he meets the gal he wants to settle down with. It sounds like your basic learn-a-life-lesson comedy. But it’s better than that.

First of all, Andy Griffith is a good actor. So are all the older folks in this movie. There’s Raymond’s mom from Everybody Loves Raymond, Doris Roberts. There’s Liz Sheridan, whom you’ll recognize.  Both Rance & Clint Howard are here. All these people are great! Marla Sokoloff is great! Juliette Jeffers is great. I’m not so in love with Paul Campbell as the car guy. But that could just be me. He kept reminding me of this guy on Battlestar Galactica. And he doesn’t have Bruce Campbell’s chin. Maybe if he’d just gain some weight…

What I really loved was how they tie the whole movie up in a bow. Every loose end, every unanswered question, all the motivations. It’s awesome.

There’s also a tacit comment on morality and how it’s not always based on reality. The effect that morality wants to have is not necessarily to have you behave morally. Hmmm, that’s not quite right. When you behave morally, it’s not necessarily that moral behavior that is the purpose of the morality, but the side-effects that it generates. Usually. Or words to that effect. Harumph.

Anyway, see the movie with a loved one that you don’t get embarrassed in front of too easily.  Then discuss the implications. This is great date movie if you ask me! It lays it all right out there for discussion.

Could be the 2nd movie in a double-feature with Lovely, Still. Or if you don’t want so much drama with that, choose Waitress and see Andy say slightly less crude things.

About Lyle Verbilion

I'm just wanderin' around lookin' at things. Wow.
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