A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that So I Married an Axe Murderer is an early Mike Myers film that intends to capitalize and expand on the humor the comedian developed while a member of the Saturday Night Live cast. Most of the laughs come from solid comic performances (including Myers in dual father and son roles), hip 1993 jokes and parodies, and a climactic farcical battle scene with thrills, spills, and some unhinged ax-whacking. The love story is played for fun as well as romance and has partial nudity (Myers naked from behind, lovers in a bathtub, a woman surprised in the shower); both pre- and post-sex kissing and cuddling; and one scene with a woman reacting to an unseen partner's antics under the covers. Obscenities and insults ("s--t," "piss off," "hell," "f--k," "bitch," "Jesus Christ," "pimp," "pickle up your ass") are often uttered with fervor by a perennially angry, middle-aged Scottish man. Characters drink in social settings and at home, sometimes to excess. Smoking is frequent; in one instance characters might be using marijuana. Generally, the topical humor and situations are intended for teens and adults. Specifically, the final action sequence would be disturbing for kids who don't clearly understand the difference between real and pretend violence.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Poor Charlie (Mike Myers) -- he can't seem to find the right girl. It's especially difficult because he's not really willing to give up being the perennial boy in SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER. He's so terrified of marriage (and growing up) that he complains that the women he goes out with all have either some horrific problem or terrible habit (one of the women even smells like beef vegetable soup). Meanwhile, his out-to-lunch mom's favorite tabloid continues to run stories about a murderous bride who has killed three husbands with an ax on their honeymoons. The two stories merge when Charlie meets the beautiful Harriet (Nancy Travis), a butcher who is passionate about her work. Love is in the air, and Charlie seems as though he might be headed for the altar until ... well, he can't simply ignore those stories, and he can't help noticing clues and personality quirks that make Harriet a prime suspect -- at least, in his mind. Enlisting the help and assurances of his best friend, a Serpico-like undercover policeman, Charlie finally relents. It's only after the wedding that the truth is revealed and Charlie becomes the intended victim of a maniacal killer.
Is it any good?
It's fun seeing the young, talented Mike Myers in two roles: the nebbish hero and his comically abusive, cantankerous dad. Kudos also are deserved for some very clever scenes and comic performances with Anthony LaPaglia and Alan Arkin as prototypical cops and Amanda Plummer as Harriet's devoted sister. Ditto cameo appearances from Phil Hartman, as a deadpan prison guard named "Vicky," Charles Grodin, and comedian Steven Wright. So, though much of the comedy works, it's too bad the film's creators were responsible for coming up with a plot that has no semblance of logic or originality. Director Thomas Schlamme has done his best with the obvious, purposely derivative story. He keeps everything moving, optimizes the bizarro characters, and has some sweet, if offbeat, love scenes between the two leads. The key action sequence is a fierce, slapstick battle between hapless innocent and unhinged killer. This film is intended for audiences who like parody, '90s humor, and ax murderers with a demented sense of purpose.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of comic horror movies. Does the tone of these films reduce the tension? What techniques do filmmakers use to tell the audience that this is supposed to be funny, not terrifying?
This movie sends up (spoofs) several cultural behaviors (the coffee house poetry readings, the supervising police officer, the Scottish family). Name some of the other topical issues that are parodied. Though made in 1993, which of these send-ups is still relevant and funny? Why?
Look up the film term "cameo appearance." In this movie, what were the "cameos"? How do those performances enhance enjoyment of the movie?
- In theaters: July 30, 1993
- On DVD or streaming: June 1, 1999
- Cast: Mike Myers, Nancy Travis, Anthony LaPaglia
- Director: Thomas Schlamme
- Studio: TriStar Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: nudity, language, mock terror
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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