Raising Arizona

On a recommendation in the guise of fan outrage, I borrowed a copy of Raising Arizona and tried to erase any misgivings I had about the picture.  It's not easy, because what sat with me as a horrible premise for a comedy (the kidnapping of a baby) just doesn't make me go "ha ha" out of the gates.  But this is the Coen Brothers and so I begrudgingly tried to make room for what is a cult classic.

And I tried so very hard.  There is a single moment in the film that is utterly brilliant and at the same time so obvious that I wonder why I had never seen it before.  It is when Nic Cage's character raises his hands together over his head to hit someone and inadvertently scrapes his knuckles against the deco plaster on the ceiling.  That was a bravura moment in the film.

The rest of the film was mediocre.  The main characters' inability to adopt or have children of their own is just an incredibly sad premise that it's hard to find a lot of comedy in what they are doing are how they go about it.  In fact, the dream ending of the film (where Hi dreams of being old surrounded by children) is almost painful to think about.  Raising Arizona just left me feeling sad for the characters; probably not what you want to have happen for a comedy.

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