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Throw Mamma from the Train (1987): Danny DeVito brilliance

 Ever wonder if an actor can portray more than one character? I think we lump actors into categories. Some actors are always the prefect villain while others can't do anything, but super hero mode. For a long time I thought Danny DeVito could only play one characters or an emulsion of a few, none the less one. If you were to lump his characters together the recipe would be as follows.

Danny DeVito iced coffee:

Take 1 cup of sarcasm and scrape off the foam, make sure to cool gently before serving. Mix sarcasm and 2/3rds cup begrudgingly dark roasted attitude until fully frothed and skim the froth off this one as well, so that you are left with the smoothest taste of deeze nutz or beans, if your using actual coffee. Then Pour this mixture into a tall glass with ice and serve with your milk of choice. Garnish with a paper umbrella because if your'e serving Danny DeVito iced coffee it might as well be fancy. 

Before I go further, I have to be clear, I have not seen every DeVito movie. However I have seen quite a few and after I watched Throw Mama from the train I did watch Drowning Mona. I will save my reviews of that splendid piece of film for another review however. This one is more of an in depth look of the character portrayals of  Mama movie. Which by far have fascinated me the most. 

If you have not seen this movie and have a biased attitude toward Danny, this movie will change your mind. The premise, Billy Crystal is a failed writer who's wife has left him and who has stolen his manuscript. He plays his role great, although he does remind you of Harry met Sally for most of the film. Billy plays a great very anxious jewish guy who looks like he's about to have nervous breakdown and call your therapist instead of his own type of character. He often relies on this character for a number of his roles and yes he does fit the bill on roles that have even the slightest hint of stuffed cabbage or braided challah. Anyways he teaches a writing class in the movie and Danny is in the class. Weirdly enough they become friends. Through minor details I will not name so as not to spoil too much, DeVito plays a challenged individual. At first you assume he's just a little slow, but then you realize his character is somewhere fluctuating on the scale spectrum, possibly autism or aspergers. His mother is played by Anne Ramsey who played mama in The Goonies.  Let me tell you it is uncanny how well she plays someone you could grow to detest. No wonder this movie is so aptly titled. I've never seen DeVito play a role so well I actually forgot his other roles. I forgot he does curmudgeon characters like velcro. He immersed me in his world for a an hour and I couldn't let go. His almost forgetful nature brings you back to a Chaplin-esque experience, when your wondering where the wind will blow him next. 

This movie stands the test of time. Where so few comedies do not. You can't watch caddy-shack now and not be repulsed by it's misogynistic views. We've past the point of no return on that one. Throw Mama from the Train is still enough of an original story it can stand on its own two feet among classics of our time with uncanny frivolity and relentless twists and turns. 

Throw Mama from the Train (1987) Location 8, Dialogue 9.5, vulnerable aspect 62%, non-compliance to the norm 89.03

Train meter πŸš†πŸš†πŸš†πŸš†πŸš†πŸš†πŸš†πŸš† (8.8) 


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