Friday, April 5, 2024

Flashback/Film Friday: I Continue to Think Mike Myers Could Excel in Serious Roles Based on a Flick From 1999

Mike Meyers is known for a variety of characters. From being Wayne Campbell on SNL and in movies to creating the voice of Shrek to--of course--Austin Powers. The man is a comedy powerhouse even if he's had some missteps in his career too ("The Love Guru," was a movie ticket I regret purchasing). That said, sometimes the guys who do comedy can excel in serious roles as well. Adam Sandler was superb in, "Punch Drunk Love," as well as, "Uncut Gems," and Jeff Daniels is amazing whether he's in, "Dumb and Dumber," or, "The Newsroom." He recently had, "The Pentaverate," for Netflix and it got mixed reviews like much of his work, but it was a comedy. Where are the serious roles? I ask because there is an utterly random scene in, "Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me," that has made me wonder for years, "Could this guy do drama?"

It is a scene right at the end of the movie where a character played by Myers in a bodysuit named Fat Bastard ambushes Powers and Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham). He is about to kill them when she asks Fat Bastard (seriously, that is his name), if he's happy with life. This leads to a monologue that starts out a bit silly where Myers' character answers that, "Of course I'm not happy!" He does some jokes about his body, but then the character's voice quivers and he seems almost serious with a, "I can't stop eating. I eat because I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I eat." He goes on to say its a vicious cycle and he needs to forgive someone--himself. He also lets out a big fart randomly as this is a comedy movie. Still, for a brief second, you forget Myers is playing a joke character in a fatsuit. For an ever-so-short sliver of time, you feel for Fat Bastard and his sadness as Myers imbues the character with more humanity than you'd expect. Then he farts. Still, when Brendan Fraser wins an Academy Award for playing an obese man maybe Myers' set the scene with a little gravitas himself in between the jokes about tooting? Here is the discussed scene:

Mike Myers is an incredibly funny guy. If he ever gives us a wholly dramatic performance, I'll tune in to that for sure too.

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