It's been said that nothing can bring two men closer together than a dollar placed between them, and a large family finds themselves becoming far closer than they'd like over several million dollars in this satiric comedy. Uncle Joe McTeague (Kirk Douglas) is an elderly man with a multi-million dollar fortune that he made in the scrap metal business and has no immediate heirs. While Joe has no children, he has plenty of relatives, most of whom don't really like him but want to curry his favor in hopes of inheriting his ...
It's been said that nothing can bring two men closer together than a dollar placed between them, and a large family finds themselves becoming far closer than they'd like over several million dollars in this satiric comedy. Uncle Joe McTeague (Kirk Douglas) is an elderly man with a multi-million dollar fortune that he made in the scrap metal business and has no immediate heirs. While Joe has no children, he has plenty of relatives, most of whom don't really like him but want to curry his favor in hopes of inheriting his money when he dies (and Uncle Joe is just shrewd enough to know this). However, Uncle Joe has hired a "nurse," Molly Richardson (Olivia D'Abo), who considers modeling bikinis in Joe's Jacuzzi to be therapeutic. The family is afraid that Molly will end up with the lion's share of Joe's money after they've been bending over backwards to earn his approval, so they bring in a ringer. Daniel McTeague (Michael J. Fox) is one of the only members of the family that Uncle Joe actually likes; a professional bowler of no particular skill, Daniel is the son of the family's black sheep, a leftist activist who decided years ago and wanted nothing to do with Uncle Joe. But Joe has a soft spot for Daniel and his imitation of Jimmy Durante, so the family tracks him down and has him come to visit his uncle. The idea is that if Daniel can get on Uncle Joe's good side, he'll be rewarded in his will, and then Daniel will share his fortune with the rest of the family. So Daniel and his wife Robin (Nancy Travis) move to be closer to Uncle Joe, but Daniel soon discovers that he doesn't like his family much more than Uncle Joe does. Greedy also features Phil Hartman, Ed Begley, Jr., Bob Balaban, Jere Burns, and Kirsten Dunst as some of the venal members of the extended McTeague Family; incidentally, the name "McTeague" is a reference to the lead character in Erich von Stroheim's silent epic Greed. Mark Deming, Rovi
GENRE: Comedy, ensemle family relations
CAST: Kirk Douglas, Michael J Fox, Nancy Travis, Olivia d'Abo, Ed Begley, Phil Hartman, Colleen Camp, Jere Burns, Bob Balaban, Joyce Hyser, Mary Ellen Trainor, Kevin McCarthy, Khandi Alexander and Jonathan Lynn (also Director)
PLOT: Heirless rich uncle has extended family drooling for him to pick one of them as his favorite. Then they plan to split the wealth and search out a forgotten family member who did the Jimmy Durante imitation as a kid and agree to give him a share, That nephew goes like a yoyo between real familial love and avarice almost costing him his own true love in the process. Can't tell the denoument as it is one of the most valuable pieces of this puzzle.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 8.5 of 10; This film is just a series of skits about greed and avarice. The only thing that holds them together are good directing, acting and... um good dialog? Once the ideas about the strange relationship the Uncle has with a young woman are exhausted the movie gratefully runs to conclusion. Isn't that a good thing to say? That knowing that the fair bits of comedy have stretched the limit, you know enough to cut loose? Hey this is one of Kirk Douglas' and Michael Fox's lighter attempts and they are good playing off each other. There is no real background musical scoring to note. Good? Yah! The plot twists are well scripted.
DVD BONUS: Production Notes text; brief/incomplete bio and filmo highlights of many of the cast but not all.; a theatrical trailer; a CD-Rom linkage to the film's site.
ADDED NOTES: There are some fantastic shots of d'Abo in the trailer I cannot recall being in the film. The butler, Douglas (get it ? Kirk's man servant is named Douglas!), is the director and he did a wonderful job holding together the threads of this barely important subject. It afterall is not a situation any of us will find ourselves in sad to say.