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on 29 June 2004
From the infectious opening song by David Byrne to the carnage of the film's climactic scenes, Something Wild is more fun than you can shake a stick at. Cool, clever, funny, menacing, and romantic (to name just a few of its features), the film twists and turns from screwball comedy to violent thriller to romantic fantasy with astounding confidence and energy.
The story may at first sound predictable but the approach the film takes is full of delicious suprises, with endless pleasure to be found in the details and strange but believable characters. With fantastic cameos from a whole cast of cult figures including Tracey Walter, Charles Napier and John Waters, the film revels in the quirky underside of America, but with obvious joy and affection, rather than cynicism or contempt.
Daniels is excellent, and Griffiths, who I am not a fan of, is suprisingly good, but the real plaudits most go to Ray Liotta, tearing up the screen as Lulu's psychotic ex-husband.
An absolutely terrific, often overlooked gem, arguably a career high for many of those concerned.
DVD sadly short on extras, so 2 out of 5 for minimal package, but 5 out of 5 for the movie itself.
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on 7 December 2007
This is one of my favourite films of all time. It's got a strong story, clever direction and three truly great performances from Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffiths and the superb Ray Liotta. It's both a road movie and a genuinely chilling thriller. I first saw it when it came out in the '80s and I still can't believe it isn't more widely known outside of Jonathan Demme fan circles. What a bargain for less than the price of a fish supper!
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on 27 January 2014
It's hard to believe that this movie is almost thirty years old. It provided Ray Liotta with his first real substantive part, and although Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels had had a bit more experience, it was relatively early in their careers too. It's an engrossing movie -- it keeps you off balance at first, since we don't know enough to make sense of the different kinds of "wild" behavior on the part of Daniels's and Griffith's characters. Daniels (Charlie) seems to be a married, suburban husband who has just made VP in a financial firm, and Griffith (Audrey/Lulu) seems to be a quintessential free spirit, and she takes Charlie for a ride that he seems not totally unwilling to be taken on, and presents him as her husband to her mother (who isn't fooled, and we soon find out why) and to her high-school reunion classmates. The reunion, by the way, provides Jack Gilpin and Sue Tissue with a neat cameo, as one of Charlie's co-workers and his pregnant wife. But we learn at the reunion that Charlie isn't married -- his wife took the kids and ran off with a dentist nine months earlier, so that puts a new perspective on wildness and puts Audrey's wild behavior in a new context, the effect of which is to make us more sympathetic to Charlie and Audrey -- or rather it enables the audience to somewhat settle their feelings about these characters and to see their behavior up to that point in more clearly comic terms than had appeared at the time. But then a different kind of wildness enters the scene in the person of Ray (Ray Liotta), Audrey's violent ex-con husband. He wants Audrey back, but she isn't up for THAT degree of wildness. But he carts her off after beating up Charlie, at which point the worm turns -- Charlie is determined to get her back. The problem for Jonathan Demme at this point is to blend comedy, suspense, and violence, and he does it masterfully, allowing each its due (one important feature is the quality of the witty writing for the violent Ray). Blending of this kind creates its own uneasiness ( different from that of the movie's beginning), but fans of the later "Fargo," for example, will understand how these things work.

Good performances by all -- Melanie Griffith, with that little-girly voice, is always an appealing actress, and Liotta is effectively funny and frightening. Jeff Daniels is perfect too -- he's one of these actors who never calls attention to himself, but never puts a foot wrong. Demme directs with splendid efficiency. Add lucid cinematography from Tak Fujimoto, and a great score, and you have a winner.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 February 2011
Stiff and strait banker Charles Driggs (Jeff Daniels) meets sexy wild gal Audrey Hankel (Melanie Griffith) and quickly falls under her spell. Initially, and weakly protesting, he soon finds that her lifestyle adds the spark to his otherwise dull existence. However, things get troublesome when her violent ex-convict husband (Ray Liotta) shows up and announces that if he can't have her? Nobody can!

Something of a cult hit these days, Something Wild (directed by Jonathan "Silence Of The Lambs" Demme) has that nice trick of being able to pull us in early for the comedy, and then take us down a darker, but still comical, road. Daniels is always an affable and easy to watch actor, and nothing changes here, but it's Griffith and an early Liotta turn that steals the show. Griffith is a ball of sexuality, and she looks fabulous into the bargain. Her Audrey (AKA Lulu) has a few layers that need to be peeled by Griffith and she does it with style. Liotta serves notice of what was to come four years down the line when a certain Mr Scorsese came calling. Menacing yet fun into the bargain, it's very much the perfect Liotta role. Demme paints an interesting picture as he blends yuppiedom with rebellious excess, the result being a quirky little number that, save for an inevitability that comes with the finale, is a rewarding, time fulfilling experience. Margaret Colin, Tracey Walter, Su Tissue and Charles Napier join the principals in the cast, while the zippy 80s soundtrack contains cuts from some of the decades luminaries like New Order, Fine Young Cannibals & UB40. 7/10
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Jonathann Demme might have designed this as a quirky offbeat romantic comedy thriller ,but beneath the veneer you find some real eccentric characters ,which both are rebellious , yet very close to reality of life ,as they are mainstream hollywood but they behave totally in a manner that makes you intriguingly intersted in their wild well mannered existence .

Jeff Daniels is a new yorker who plays a rather naively charming banker,who meets the rather wild child kindred spirit on a bright spring day in manhattan and within hours they are in a sleazy motel where the wild child woman is making wild love to him chained to a bed ,the woman is played in a most naturally virtuoso performance by Melanie Griffiths,she is a rather adventurous ,mysterious and totallly unpredictable character,a delight to watch ,and as their breif acquaintance blossoms into an adventurous road trip romance ,where they are met by a plethora of interesting characters ,as she takes him to Virginia to meet her mother and they pose as a married couple,until her real life husband ,an ex-convict psychopath ,portrayed malignantly and charismatically by Ray Liotta crops up at a class reunion .

The script is very interesting as all the three are actually not sure of their loyalties and the truth becomes a riddle which makes this a very intersting drama with both laughs and suspense which is riddled with an under -current of turgid tension .

I have seen it a few times and it delivers every time despite pre-empting the plot ,as the director has invested his characters with genuinely authentic details,such as the eccentric dialogues and the bizarre costumes which give them an eclectic but definitive aura ,the movie shines despite the predictable plot because of the fastidious details , that mr.demme has flourished on his script and Melanie Griffiths outshines both the male leads ,despite the fact they have given her a tough competition .

The soundtrack is funky and fits the script like a glove with never a dull moment and the movie becomes a suburban road adventure along with an acutely awry comment on the emotional relationship between two strangers who are wildly opposite yet come together in perfect chemistry like kindred soul mates .

I think this will survive the test of time and become one genuine cult classic ,and Griffiths will be remembered for the wild natural act she has stylishly delivered in this impromptu road movie which is also a feel good love story .
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on 2 May 2014
Lulu, an attractive, irresponsible free spirit, latches onto some square in a suit, who goes by the name of Charlie.
Together they get up to all manner of mischief and thrill seeking, and as Charlie starts to come more and more out of his shell, releasing his inner rebel, they begin to fall in love, revealing secrets on both sides.
However the course of true love never runs smoothly, and things begin to go extremely bumpy for them when Ray, Lulu's husband ~ a violent, psychopathic ex-convict ~ meets up with them at a school reunion, and decides that he wants Lulu back...

Part comedy, part thriller. I originally saw Something Wild probably on it's original terrestrial television screening back in the day.
Granted it's not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but this oddball 1980s romantic, comedy thriller, has enough energy and plot twists to happily win over it's audience.
Griffith and Daniels do a decent job in the leads, and are a fun pairing, pitted against Ray Liotta, clearly having fun, who provides the crazy eyed menace in the role of Ray.
This will undoubtedly appeal to anyone with an interest in mid 1980s American thriller~comedies like Into The Night [DVD], or for that matter fans of Melanie Griffith, who flashes some skin.

The UK dvd is bare bones apart from a trailer.
3.75/5
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on 13 September 2014
Something Wild & Married to the Mob are my favourite Jonathan Demme films. Although he went on to huge success in the 90's with Silence of the Lambs & Philladelphia, he never strayed too far from his independent roots. This could be watched as part of a trilogy of 80's yuppie nightmare movies which started in 1985 with After Hours (Martin Scorsese) & Into the Night (John Landis). Are there any others?
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on 29 July 2011
This is an eighties gem, looks slightly dated but I laughed from start to finish, a well rounded film with a beginning, middle and end. Loved it then love it now.
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on 13 February 2013
One of my favourite films. Sexy, thrilling, scary and very funny. The music is great too, I bought the soundtrack.
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on 10 December 2015
Some people"over-analyse" this film; to me, its a great story which doesn't need justifying , vindicating or explaining! The casting director is the one who should receive the plaudits , because, without even any one of any actor was missing from the final line up, would make for a lesser film! I would love to be a fly on the wall, at any reunion the cast ever have!
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