Cinema: Too Much Fun To Lose Your Head

"Louis?" scoffs Marie Antoinette. "He has the brains of a chicken." In the metaphoric excess of cinema courtiers, the Duke d'Escargot reminds her: "The brains of a chicken coupled with the claws of two eagles may hatch the eggs of our destruction."

The dialogue of Start the Revolution Without Me oscillates between satire of late Chateaubriand and early Coward. Such deliberate flatulence and obvious double-entendres make for bright, brittle repartee but also a total lack of focus. The film first spoofs Fairbanks-Flynn epics. Then it attempts to satirize Byzantine court intrigue and ends in boudoir farce. In his overzealous attempt to create...

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