I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Nicolas Cage films, no matter how inconsequential they might be. No matter how bad the movie, he usually seems like he’s having fun, which usually elevates the material on screen. Honeymoon In Vegas is far from a perfect comedy, but Cage definitely seems like he’s having a ball, and so did I. Cage plays Jack Singer, a man with a dilemma. He promised his mother, just before she died, that he would never get married. Unfortunately, he’s in love with Betsy, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. When he decided that his promise isn’t worth jeopardizing the relationship, he proposes that they fly to Vegas and get married right away. While there, a gambling kingpin named Tommy Korman (played with great comic timing by James Caan) sees Betsy and realizes she is identical to his dead ex-wife. And this is where the fun begins.
You see, Korman is desperate to be with this woman who looks like his ex, and will utilize all the resources at his exposure to make this happen. He ends up tricking Singer into owing him thousands of dollars, and agrees to remove this debt if Singer allows him one weekend with Betsy. Singer reluctantly agrees, and ends up spending the rest of the film trying to undo the consequences of that decision.
Travelling from Vegas to Hawaii and back, the film is like a love letter to these two completely different locations. The fast-paced glamorous Vegas life directly contradicts the natural beauty and simplicity of Hawaii, and Singer’s frantic struggles in both locations allow for some really divergent setpieces. I’m always a fan of comedies where the characters find themselves in over their heads, trying to rectify a situation of which they have no control. This frantic struggle can be hilarious in the right hands, and Cage plays the part perfectly.
While the film doesn’t really have a lot of substance, it’s just entertaining. If you’ve ever seen a single commercial for this film, then you already know that there’s a sequence where Cage skydives with a group of Elvis impersonators. I still remember watching the previews back in 1992, and finding that a unusually hilarious visual. I never actually saw the film until now, but that moment has stuck with me over the years, and the buildup to this moment is as ridiculously silly as the moment itself.
Of course, skydiving Elvises fits right in with the motif of this film, which is Elvis himself. The King has a presence throughout the entire film, with a soundtrack comprised almost entirely of Elvis material. Coincidentally, Singer and Betsy are in Vegas at the same time as a convention for Elvis impersonators. Because of this, there is almost a constant Elvis presence in the movie. Most sequences in the film are accompanied with an Elvis song that lyrically relates to what is happening on screen. It’s a very clever soundtrack, and I enjoyed picking out the creative ways they selected which songs accompanied which moments.
Again, this isn’t a great movie, but it’s an entertaining one. It’s very silly, and doesn’t have any substance to it at all. Despite this, everybody involved seems to be having a great time, and the film is just fun to watch. Unfortunately, there aren’t any extras on the recently released Blu-Ray other than a short preview that gives the entire film away. The transfer is also lacking, looking about as good as an old VHS copy would have looked. I recently reviewed another film from the MGM catalog that recently got a re-release, and that film had the same problem. It seems as if MGM is just releasing their catelog on Blu-Ray without taking the time and effort to clean them up, or provide any good bonus material.
I can’t really recommend this film as a purchase, but it’s definitely a fun rental. It would be nice if MGM would have put a little more care into these releases, but at least they’re getting released at all. If you’re a fan of Nicolas Cage like I am, then this is definitely worth checking out.