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Lace 2 Poster
Part One Of Your January 2008 Unrandom Movie Club Results Is In!

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Pizza: Joe Peeps

Preshow Entertainment: None

LACE II isn't really a mini-series. It's more like a four hour Mentos ad.

We did a Double Feature today. LACE II was randomly selected at a previous RMC, and vetoed using The Mary Poppins Rule. So we watched it today before our normal UMC, which was DIE HARD.

Hot Dog grill

We also debuted our new Hot Dog grill. For its inauguration, we bought Nathan's dogs and mustard and sauerkraut. I am, after all, from New York. The hot dogs were terrific. Sadly, the entertainment wasn't.

In 1984, Phoebe Cates starred as Lili in the mini-series LACE. I never saw it (which in retrospect is probably what led to Phoebe breaking up with me...idiot me), but I do remember LACE being talked about a lot. The first night ended with Lili cornering three women and delivering what they must have hoped would become a classic line - "Which one of you bitches is my mother?!" Oh my! How edgy! Night two was devoted to the answer. This format was repeated the following year in LACE II with Lili asking for help to find out "which one of these bastards is my father." I'm still waiting for LACE III, where Lili lines up three poodles and asks, "which one of you bitches is my doggie?"

Here's the plot, but I warn you - LACE II is a soap opera, so it's going to get a bit messy here. Lili is now a huge movie star. In fact, the show opens with a man painting a massive billboard of her in Times Square. That's how big she is. Her mother Judy Hale (Deborah Raffin, taking over the role from LACE's Bess Armstrong) runs a magazine called Lace. She shows Lili a book she was writing about her life. Though she changed all the names, she didn't change the initials. It's here Lili discovers that her dad was a Vietnam soldier who was killed in action. When Lili wants to read more, Judy doesn't let her.

Lili goes to shoot a movie, and mom Judy goes to a dangerous part of the world (the jungles of Thailand, I think) to interview the reclusive General Zedd who has a small army hiding in a secluded area. But she's fooled by a man in cahoots with the general, and is held hostage for $1 million, money to advance their cause. At the film shoot, which looks more like a Duran Duran video, Lili is threatened by two henchmen who give her a week to come up with the million. Lili, who's made of strong stuff, tries to get the money herself. She asks the movie producer for the mil, and when he turns her down she walks off the film. Then she speaks to her mom's editor at Lace, and he tells her no. She then visits Mr. Cliff, a stately, prominent banker and the father of her dead dad. She threatens to tell the world that she is his illegitimate granddaughter (as if that will hurt his career), and he laughs her off. Lili looks in Mom's book and discovers that her mother lied to her. Her dad couldn't have been her dad because he was unable to father children.

It's really hard to believe that such a huge movie star and magazine can't find money to save her mother's life. But they can't. So there's only one smart move for her to play. Call the FBI.

No, I was joking. Lili's has a plan of her own. She asks the two other women (remember, in LACE there were three women who might have been her mom), Pagan (Brooke Adams) and Maxine (Arielle Dombasle) to find out who her dad is. This is just dumb. They're going to kill her mom in a few days...and she wants to find her dad? So her thinking is that after 20 years of not knowing he has a kid, some stranger is going to hand her a million bucks? I mean, what if he's a cashier at Del Taco? What kind of plan is this, Lili?

Lili tells Pagan and Maxine that Judy, for reasons unknown to all of mankind, wrote three versions of the ending to her book. In each, Judy was raped by a different man. And now it's their job to find out which one this rapist/dad is, blackmail him for the cool mil, then send the mil to Thailand and free her mom.

Speaking of her mom - her kidnapper tells Judy he will kill her if Lili doesn't come through with the cash. So she grabs a fork and rips his eyes out. No, I'm joking again. Actually, Judy does something even worse. She sleeps with him. I guess she caught a dose of Stockholm Syndrome in the jungle. Afterwards, he tells her again that he will kill her. And it is here, finally, that she plunges those forks in his eyes. Nope. I was joking yet again. Now she walks out of the hut all mad and stuff.

Anyway, through flashbacks of Pagan, Judy and Maxine (almost the Andrews Sisters!) in boarding school in what I think is the Swiss Alps, we learn the identities of the three prospective father-slash-rapists. One is a cocky hockey player-turned-famous orchestra conductor. Another is the helicopter-flying King Abdullah of Sydon. And the third, and I kid you not, is an astronaut!

Well, that's all for now kids. I'll just tell you that each woman (Pagan, Maxine, and Lili) split up to visit these men. They each threaten them with blackmail, and are each scoffed at. In the end, the real dad comes through with the money (see SPOILER at end). And just like the three men and Mr. Cliff the banker didn't care, neither do we. So the whole movie is sort of pointless.

Phoebe Cates as Lili

LACE II (that's a Roman numeral, not an eleven!) is a real dairy product. It's nearly 100% cheese. But there's also buckets of milking as well. You don't get to know who the dad is until the final minute. And they sure milk that for all it's worth.

In a move to save mankind, LACE II remains unavailable on DVD and even VHS. Truth be told, it wasn't bad enough to make us want to slit our throats (no, we have the movie
RIVER RED for that honor), it was simply...nothing. A mix of "who cares" and "so what".

The real star of this screening was the commercials from 1988 (though LACE II aired in '85, I must have taped a rerun in '88). These ads are so '80s-specific. Lots of Linn Drums and Bryan Adams-y jingles. All fake tough guys singing about things like orange juice as if they're saving the world. But we did get to see a ton of celebrity testimonials, including Roger Rabbit pimping Coca Cola, Steve Landsberg shilling dog food, Mike Tyson selling Pepsi, pre-FRIENDS Matt LeBlanc for Heinz, Dom DeLuise for Ziploc®, and Whoopi Goldberg for some cause I can't recall. A teen Jerry O'Connell also appeared in a Ragu commercial. The funny thing is how close these commercials and LACE II are. It almost felt like one long movie, or one very long Mentos ad.

So it's a pass on the 240 minute fondue titled LACE II. Even if you like ostentation, it's just too long to waste your life on. I mean, at 4 hours, you can see three different bad movies instead of one. I hear the original LACE was much better. It's in the Random Movie Club library, so perhaps one day we'll see it. And perhaps on that same day we'll stick forks in our eyes. And this time I'm not joking.

SPOILER: Was Lili's father the conductor, the astronaut or the king? Yes! He was! Well, I'm tempted not to tell you. I mean, I suffered, why shouldn't you? But I'll take the high road and die so that you may live. But you still have a few seconds to vote. I voted and got it right. How will you do? Perhaps I can milk this myself for four hours. Or perhaps I'll just tell you now. Yeah, I'll tell you now. It was not the astronaut. So now it's either the king or the conductor. Hmmm. Okay, it wasn't the conductor either. That means it's the king. See? Who cares? So the king fathered Lili, which makes him the rapist, and in his country that's a crime worthy of beheading. But will Lili, who is so famous that she is holding a press conference to divulge her father's real name, let the world know? Naw. Darling Lili will also take the high road and save the dad she never met. And in the process, set the rapist free.

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