So I Married An Axe Murderer

1993, Movie, PG-13, 110 mins

Review

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A romantic comedy about a poet who begins to suspect he has fallen in love with a serial killer, SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER is a vehicle for "Saturday Night Live" and WAYNE'S WORLD star Mike Myers. Although Myers is a brilliant comic, any potential he has as a romantic lead remains unfulfilled.

Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers), a San Francisco performance-poet who can't face emotional commitment, goes to buy haggis for his thoroughly Scottish family at Meats of the World and is immediately smitten by Harriet Michaels (Nancy Travis), an attractive young butcher. His mother, a supermarket tabloid reader, tells him about a woman who has murdered her former husbands in Atlantic City and Miami. Charlie returns to the store and helps Harriet out at the butcher's counter, pouring on the comic charm as he fools around with carcasses. During their first night together, Charlie discovers his new love has spent time in both Atlantic City and Miami. The next morning he also meets Harriet's bizarre sister, Rose (Amanda Plummer).

The passionate love affair begins to deteriorate almost immediately as Charlie discovers more and more links between Harriet and the tabloid axe murderer. Paranoid, he breaks up with her. But when his policeman pal Tony (Anthony LaPaglia) tells him a suspect has confessed to one of the killings, Charlie woos Harriet back by performing an elaborate poem outside her window. Charlie and Harriet get married but, as they are driving to their honeymoon hotel, Tony discovers that the woman who confessed to the murder has also confessed to killing Abe Lincoln. After witnesses looking at pictures of Harriet and Rose all link Harriet to the victims, Tony calls Charlie, warns him, and sets off in a plane to rescue his pal. Just as Charlie has locked Harriet up, Rose arrives, wielding an axe and railing about how much she resents anyone who takes her sister away. As Tony shows up to arrest Harriet, Rose chases Charlie around the hotel roof. Rose slips off the roof but is saved by Charlie, who is reunited with Harriet at the close.

SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER succeeds and fails according to which mode Myers happens to be in. When he's funny, he's very funny; when he's romantic, he's not. He makes a likable straight man, but his attempts at being charming fall victim to overkill, mainly thanks to Robbie Fox's too-cute script ("I'm a human blanket," coos Charlie into Harriet's ear). The problem is compounded by director Thomas Schlamme, who often seems unsure as to what tone he is striving for--it's not clear, for instance, whether we're supposed to laugh with, or at, Charlie's poetry. Nonetheless, AXE MURDERER generates plenty of humor. As well as playing Charlie, Myers also portrays his Scottish father--a piece of inspired, lunatic creation. Whether he's throwing verbal barbs at his son or singing Rod Stewart's "D'ya think I'm sexy" to a bagpipe accompaniment, this is one fringe character who steals the show. (Sexual situations, profanity.) leave a comment

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