Retro Review: The Ladies Man

Written: October 14, 2000

Yet another “Saturday Night Live” sketch makes it on to the silver screen. Haven’t they got the hint that there really has been only two of these adaptations that were any good.

“The Ladies Man” stars Tim Meadows as his creation Leon Phelps. Leon is a late night sex therapist on the radio who believes deep down inside that he is god’s gift to women. He struts around like a reject from the 70’s.

In this feature film, Leon has slept with to many married women thus creating a coalition to kill the mysterious other man in so many marriages.

This coalition is commanded by an Olympian Greek wrestler, played by another SNL alum Will Ferrell. Other prominent figures in Leon’s life are his producer, Julie (played by Fresh Prince of Bel Air alum Karyn Parsons), and a loyal barkeep (Billy Dee Williams).

“The Ladies Man” could be nominated as the worst SNL adaptation on record yet. The first half you wonder how many jokes can a film like this have about a sexaholic who by pure fluke ends up sleeping with all these women. Not for one minute did I believe that this guy was a gigolo. He is obnoxious, blatantly retarded and insecure.

We also have the stupid voiceover of Billy Dee Williams as he talks about where Leon came from and commentary on what may be happening in his brain. I liked the whole Hugh Hefner connection and personally it was the best part of the film. Why not run with his whole story for the film instead of summing it up in about five minutes?

The angle about the group of frustrated idiots running after a bigger idiot to seek vengeance is the saddest excuse for a comedy this critic has seen in a long time. Couldn’t they have played a more interesting angle. Then when the mob of idiots sent out to hunt down Leon bursts into song I so wanted to run for the exits. That wasn’t funny but just plainly bad. That whole scene will remind me again and again why musicals have never made a comeback.

For me the saddest moment in this film was the cameo by Julianne Moore. Moore is a great actress and one of my favorites. Why did she decide to play a horny clown of all things? I almost cried when I saw that. Poor, poor Julianne.

Why exactly would a successful woman like Julie fall for such a loser? Why are all the people in this film complete idiots? And why would an audience pay to see this guy?

(1 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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