Making Mr. Right (1987)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Making Mr. Right</strong> (1987)

(On DVD, December 2009) This romantic comedy may feature a fully-working android built for the purpose of space exploration, it’s really a disservice to call it a science-fiction film.  To do so subjects Making Mr. Right to much higher scientific scrutiny than it deserves as a fluffy comedy about a woman dealing with an emotionless nerd and his trainable invention.  The SF elements are so wrong that it’s hard to know where to start, so let’s avoid the issue entirely and focus on the comic results of the premise.  Ann Magnuson delivers a fearless performance as a PR expert who has to sell an android to the world at large, which also means interacting with the android’s inventor –a frighteningly plausible Frank Malkovich.  The screenplay itself is generally by-the-numbers, instantly familiar to anyone who has ever seen an “alien discovers human society” society: a succession of idiot moments briefly interrupted by excruciating sequences of social humiliation.  But the performances are charming enough, and the increasingly retro charm of mid-eighties Miami (wow, those clothes!) does a lot to heighten the absurdity of the entire film.  There are enough hints of mild subversion (such as a tropical beach photo backdrop used on a beach) and unusual screenwriting choices to set Making Mr. Right apart from other fantasy-based romantic comedies.  It could have been worse.

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