My wife and I (yes, as readers of the “Weekly Reeler” know, going together was her idea) and I were the audience at the first showing of The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adveture on Friday. (I understand we were two more viewers than were present at the next show.) This had the distinct downside of making it impossible to accurately judge whether or not the tiny-tot target audience really would get up and dance, talk to the screen and sing on cue as intended by the creators of this curious cash grab. (Note to the producers: Two-year-olds are not as a rule toddling about with seven bucks burning a hole in their diapers to buy a ticket.) On the other hand, this meant that my occasional outbursts of, “Jesus Christ, they’re going to do that goddamned cheer again,” outraged no anxious mothers.
I am somewhat hesitant to attempt to describe this…peculiar concoction for fear of being accused of base mendacity. However, here goes. Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie are the Oogieloves. They are respectively green, yellow and purple, and are theoretically played by Misty Miller, Stephanie Renz and Malerie Grady. (I say “theoretically” because it could just as easily be the Jonas Brothers sweating away in those furry outfits.) Goobie and Toofie appear to be male. Zoozie seems to be female. They live together in a ménage à trois in the town of Lovelyville where they have a kind of upright vacuum-cleaner butler named J. Edgar (Nick Drago). J. Edgar seems to have an illicit affair going on with Windy Window (Maya Stange), whose drapes he keeps fondling. (This is perhaps because Windy is constantly changing her drapes, proving herself to be a Hoover-tease.) Windy also doubles as a magic mirror, which comes in handy when J. Edgar loses the five golden balloons meant for the Oogies’ birthday bash for an apparently narcoleptic pink throw-pillow named Schluufy (Taras Los). (I suppose a case could be made concerning Schluufy’s religion, since that “do not remove under penalty of law” tag has been cut off him, but I’d as soon leave that consideration to a televangelist in search of propaganda. This thing’s got enough subtext as it is.)
The bulk of the film consists of embarassing a group of C-list celebrities whose best days are behind them. For the record, these are Cloris Leachman as the circle-obsessed Dotty Rounder, Chazz Palminteri as Milky Marvin (no, he does not run a very creepy website), Tony Braxton as pop star Rosalie Rosebud, Christopher Lloyd and Jaime Pressly as Latin dance act Lero and Lola Sombrero (they fly around in a giant sombrero) and Cary Elwes as a bubble-mogul cowboy truck driver named Bobby Wobbly. Now, none of these folks come off well — Christopher Lloyd just looks pissed off — but Cary Elwes probably comes off worse than the rest. His Bobby Wobbly (wouldn’t that better suit the lead in a commercial for an erectile dysfunction product?) staggers around and has a moronic fixed grin (grimace, really) on his face that looks like cosmetic surgery gone horribly, horribly wrong. (No, Mr. Elwes, being in the Saw movies wasn’t rock bottom after all.)
Yes, everything works out — which for the viewer means that all the loud, high-pitched squealing and eye-searing colors do finally stop. If you see it — and, oh, I really do advise against such a rash undertaking — you will at least be part of a select group, since this is well on its way to being the biggest flop in the history of the motion picture. How bad? Well, it averaged $47 a theater on Wednesday, but things were looking up on Thursday when it soared to $57. This is actually an accomplishment of some sort. Rated G