I’m not sure what to make of this one, but I liked it. This is my 4th Hal Ashby film. His films tend to be sweet, touching, but ultimately bitter and this film is a perfect example.
The film is about two sailors played by Jack Nicholson and Otis Young who are charged with taking a kid, played by a very young Randy Quaid, to an 8 year sentence. What did he do? He stole a whopping $40 from a polio charity box. The problem is collecting money for polio is the old man’s wife’s pet project. Nicholson and Young know this is shitty, but they’re not willing to risk their careers to do anything about it. Instead, they make sure they show the kid a good time on the way.
They do some fun things along the way. My favorite is when Jack tells some marines in the bathroom that if he were in the marines he wouldn’t have to fiddle with all those buttons to take a piss. He would just take his hat off. Of course a fight breaks out and they beat up the marines.
It’s bittersweet, but I enjoyed it.