"Mannequin" is one of those movies that has seemingly developed a cult. It's obviously not high art - or even low-art, for that matter - but there's something about its silly nature that is at least slightly charming and mildly entertaining. If that sounds like faint praise, well, I'm really not that much of a fan of it. While it's admittedly got a cute concept, there's not much that I find particularly hilarious about it.
The film revolves around Jonathan (Andrew McCarthy), who has found himself going from job-to-job - he's not an idiot, necessarily, but things keep going wrong and he keeps finding himself looking through the want ads. After a freak near-accident one morning where he saves the life of a department store owner (Estelle Getty), he finds himself with a new job. He also finds himself with a new girlfriend - sort of. One night, one of the department store mannequins comes to life - but only he can see her. Named Emmy (Kim Catrall of "Sex and the City"), she's an Egyptian Goddess travelling through time that apparently ended up in Philadelphia.
Of course, when she comes into his life, it's enough to inspire him to make great window designs to help lure shoppers into the failing old department store. There's little plot beyond that - the film exists to string together attempts at screwball romantic comedy as well as several elements that make sure this film will be stuck in the eighties for eternity, especially the dated score and look.
The performances aren't great either, except for James Spader, who plays a hilarious version of his usual businessman character. Most of the supporting cast are stuck with stereotypical characters, as well. There's something about all of it, though - "Mannequin" occasionally becomes one of those films that's so bad that it comes out the other side into entertaining, although in a strange way.
The film was a suprise success in 1987, grossing over 40 million at the box office, enough to generate a sequel in 1991.
VIDEO: MGM presents "Mannequin" with both a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer and a pan & scan edition, both on their own side of a dual-sided disc. The anamorphic widescreen edition, quite frankly, looked rather weak for a film that's only about 14 years old at this point. Sharpness and detail were mediocre for the entire program - the film occasionally struggled to appear crisp, but usually came across as noticably a bit soft.
Print flaws were the biggest problem throughout the program. While I'd expect a little bit of wear from a movie that's past the 10-year mark, there were quite a few scenes throughout the film where notiable specks, marks and other wear was definitely apparent. Some minor pixelation and edge enhancement were also spotted.
Colors looked fairly accurate, but could seem rather bland at times, which is a good way to describe the presentation as a whole.
SOUND: The film's Dolby 2.0 soundtrack delivers the score and the dialogue acceptably, but there's really no other details to speak of. The elements generally sound a bit thin, but acceptable.
MENUS:: Basic, non-animated menus that essentially use film-themed images and cover art.
EXTRAS: The only supplement is a trailer.
Final Thoughts: Occasionally generating a few laughs due to its dated heavily cheesy nature and energetic attempt to deliver less-than-thin material, "Mannequin" is slightly entertaining, but definitely nothing more than a slightly above-average piece of 80's fluff. Those who are fans might be a bit let-down by the DVD's mediocre image and sound quality (along with no extras), but the fim's fans will still likely be pleased at the ability to add this to their collection for $14.95 or less.
The Film **
Video 79/C+ = (316/400 possible points)
Audio: 80/B- = (320/400 possible points)
Extras: 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 81/B = (243/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: **
DVD GRADE: C