ALL OF ME (1984)
Article 4923 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Carl Reiner
Featuring Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Victoria Tennant
What it is: Comedy
A female tycoon, sickly from birth and now dying, plans to migrate her soul into the body of another female so she can live a new, full life. However, an accident causes her soul to be deposited into the right half of a male lawyer, so that the two of them are trapped in the same body.
I was a big fan of Steve Martin during his stand-up days, but I found his movie career to be rather uneven, because his stand-up style really didn’t translate smoothly into that form. I quite liked this one though, at least partially because it gave Martin a real comic acting challenge – how to play a person whose body halves are inhabited by different people, and he makes the most of the physical shtick that results. Tomlin is also quite good as the tyrannical woman whose soft side only comes out because she can’t really hide it while in someone else’s body; after her death, she only appears physically in mirrors. Richard Libertini almost steals the movie as a foreign guru whose grasp of English is not the best; yes, the laughs he gets are a bit on the cheap side, but they’re still pretty funny. The plot contrivances are a bit silly and pat at times, but for the most part, the movie works and is a great deal of fun.