Blame It On The Bellboy (1992) *


Fun, totally unpretentious and old-fashioned farce, involving the standard tropes of mistaken identity, mounting confusion, and people hiding and running away from each other.
An assured cast, beautiful Venetian locations and, best of all, a 78 minute running time (that leaves no room for the kind of padding and energy slippage that so often do for enterprises of this sort) ensure it never flags. Though neither the plot nor the jokes are outstanding in themselves, Dudley Moore in particular is in excellent form, reminding us of what a fine comic actor he really was, and the whole ensemble join in with mutually commendable enthusiasm.
I remember my mother and I going to see this at the cinema when it came out to generally terrible reviews, and enjoying it thoroughly, and a recent, cautious rewatch has happily confirmed my original opinion. How anyone could prefer A Fish Called Wanda to this is beyond me. Or, indeed, Brassed Off, writer-director Herman's nasty and infinitely less nimble follow-up, which nonetheless briefly got him the attention of which this film could only dream, mainly because it had nice brass band music.
Bar an uncredited walk-on and a bit of voice work, this was Moore's last screen appearance.