Jonathan Demme’s directorial career peaked in the 1990s, with major hits such as Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia garnering both critical and commercial success. However, the first half of his career also features a slew of lesser-known gems, the best of which might be his oddball 1986 road movie Something Wild.
The film stars Jeff Daniels as a straight laced Wall Street executive whose life is abruptly turned upside down when a free-spirited woman named Lulu (Melanie Griffith) offers him a ride to work – and essentially kidnaps him. The two then embark on a series of misadventures that ultimately reveals that neither is exactly who they’re pretending to be.
Despite barely making a blip on its release, Something Wild has emerged as a genuine cult classic, and a great showcase for its two stars – both of whom were a few years away from their career-defining roles in Working Girl and Dumb & Dumber respectively. It also boasts a memorable performance by a pre-Goodfellas Ray Liotta, who only won the role when Griffith personally recommended him.
On this week’s episode, we’re joined by friend of the pod Julio from The Contrarians podcast, making his fourth appearance to date on the show. He helps us to break down some highlights from the movie, including Jeff Daniels iconic dad dancing, Griffith’s ever-changing hair situation and a truly delightful credits moment.
Julio also sticks around to pitch sequels with us, brainstorm some drinking games and check in with our listeners for their reaction to the film. You can find the episode by clicking any of the links at the top of this blog, and if you enjoy the show, hit subscribe to receive a new episode every Monday morning.
If you’d like to get a bit closer to the show, you can also support us on Patreon, where you can access extra features including a regular bonus show, a promo slot on our main feed, the chance to choose a subject for a future episode and much more, all for as little as $2 per month.
Next week, we’re veering slightly off the beaten track for a film that got well and truly lost in the 2020 shuffle – but definitely deserves a wider airing. Until then, happy listening and remember – running out of a restaurant without paying your bill isn’t big, and it isn’t clever…