80s Odyssey: My Chauffeur (1986)

I didn’t really have any expectations for My Chauffeur. I didn’t really know what it was about, but it fit the bill of being a goofy movie from the 80s with a cute girl in the lead, so I gave it a watch. And really, that’s what the movie’s all about. Casey’s a girl working a crappy dishwashing job in a crappy restaurant when she gets the opportunity to become a chauffeur with a bunch of stuffy old drivers who want to keep things all-male. She’s young and fun and dresses like kids who wanted to look like Madonna did back in the late 80s, so you automatically like her and want her to succeed when all those old stuffed shirts are rooting for her failure.

After the first 20 minutes or so I figured it would be one of those workplace comedies, like Empire Records or Car Wash, especially as her exploits tended to focus on either working against sexism at home base or wrangling the weirdest people in town (I assume it’s set in LA). But then I remembered the name of the film. It’s called My Chauffeur, which makes you assume that the star of the movie should be the person being driven around right? Well that turns out to be a cute, hard working boy who winds up eventually falling for Casey. But he’s a rich guy and she’s poor!

There’s really strange ending that I’ll get to in a minute. Before that, there’s a scene in the movie after the plot with the guy starts up that seems kinda pointless, but features a young Penn and Teller. I’m a big fan of Penn Jillette’s podcast Penn Point and even follow him on Twitter (here’s my account if you’re interested), so this was a fun moment. I tweeted out something about seeing him in the movie and how young he looked. I didn’t think anything of it BUT THEN HE RESPONDED! It was just a quick comment about boobs, but it was supremely cool. This was a week or so back and since then his book God No came out, so I really think it was just a matter of good timing. I hit him back saying that talking about this flick would make for a good segment on his podcast. No response, but I’m still jazzed to have had my first online brush with fame.

Okay, so now on to the ending of the movie, which is pretty strange. I guess this is a SPOILER warning if you care. The guy takes Casey to meet his dad who happens to be the guy who hired her to work for the chauffeur company. They’re telling the old man that they’re going to get married (or something along those lines) and he reveals that they’re brother and sister, that he pulled a Schwarzenegger and banged the maid who had her. Mind you, this is super gross because Casey and this guy have slept together. But then it turns out that one of the other old dudes in the movie slept with her two (actually a few others) and it turns out that Casey is HIS daughter. It’s just such a strange plot twist that seems unnecessary. I think there were hints at her being related to the old guy somehow (why else would he vouch for her for this job?) which casts a strange incestuous light over the whole thing. Ah well, it’s still a fun, goofy, proto girl power flick that’s worth a watch if you’re bored and want a few chuckles.

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