Terribly Awesome!: Mannequin

Just another Manic Monday? Wish it was Sunday? Nothing beats a case of the Mondays like a camp-out. And we ain't talkin' s'mores, sing-a-longs and psycho killers. We're talking about getting in touch with your guilty pleasure zone. That's right, every Monday we'll be bringing you the best of the worst. It's gonna be awesome - and terrible! - all at the same time.

Photo: impaawards.com


In the opening credits of Sex and the City 2, we get to catch a glimpse of what Samantha Jones looked in the 80s. According to that flick, many Manolos ago, Miss Jones had ratted hair, acid-washed jeans and make-up up to her eyebrows. While that image is hilarious (and probably downright accurate) I like to think of my Reagan-era Kim Cattrall one way and one way only. Plastic.

When we first talked about doing this column, one movie immediately came to mind: the hot pink mess of a Kim Cattrall vehicle they call
Mannequin. In the hilariously horrible flick, Cattrall plays, well, a mannequin (more on that shocking development below). It may be hard to believe, but this movie IS as awesome as it sounds. It's been midnight fave of mine for years. Featuring numerous dance montages, outstanding garden party hats, overtly punny one-liners and over-emotive hand gestures, it's a guilty pleasure that stands the test of time - and never fails to inspire a random re-watch (or two).

At one point in the movie, Andrew McCarthy's character asks Kim to jump on his motorcycle and ride around the town with him. She's a bit hesitant, worried that people will look at them funny (what kind of dummy would think that?). She finally agrees when Andrew yelps, "Who cares what people think!? Just wrap your arms around me and hold on tight!" If that's not the best piece of advice he could give to future
Mannequin lovers, I don't know what is!

Why it's terrible:

- The story is actually ridiculous. Ancient Egyptian princess, Emmy, prays to the gods to save her from a marriage to a camel dung dealer. They take mercy on her nearly-mummified soul and send her to a failed Philadelphia department store (Prince & Company) in the future to become a mannequin! There, she meets a nice stock boy/part-time mannequin designer/aspiring department store window artiste named Jonathan (Andrew McCarthy) and falls madly in love. The catch is - she can only come to life in front of him!

- Andrew spends way too much time ogling Emmy's mannequin boobs. Like, much more than he does Kim's actual boobs.

- Kim Cattrall's plastic persona looks so much like what I imagine she'd look like if she wasn't famous now it's uncanny - and uncomfortable.

She's the mannequin.

- Jonathan, after realizing Emmy's come to life: "I wonder if the store health plan covers insanity?"

- Love sick Jonathan to Emmy: "You're magic." NO DUH.

- Andrew over-acts his heart out in every scene. So does Kim. But it seems more acceptable for her considering she was just starting out. McCarthy, on the other hand, was a big star/household appliance when this came out.

Andrew, attempting to look excited.

Uh oh. Andy's distraught!

- The security guard actually uses "fart blossom" as an insult.

- The sex jokes are too much - even for the 80s. Case in point, one sleazy dude pulls at his crotch in the jewelry aisle and asks, "Can I find you something in your size?" Then, when he sees Jonathan clutching Emmy's lifeless bod, he asks his former girlfriend,"When you were making love to him, did he ever scream, 'Don't stop woody!'" Wait, did I say these were bad?

- Like every other 80s comedy, the script features several awkwardly racist jokes. This time around the target is the new European immigrant. Apparently, they are sex-obsessed nymphos who mix up their metaphors.

- At one point, Jon's gay associate (see more about him in the Awesome section) aims a giant hose at an army of security guards and yells assorted phallic-themed disses: "This is what a being a man's all about!" and "Mine's bigger than yours is!" Ick.

Why it's awesome:

- The story is actually ridiculous. (See above.)

- Kim Cattrall's "fiberglass femme fetale" (spot-on description courtesy of the DVD box art) is named Emmy! Nuff' said.

- The opening credits are an Egyptian-themed cartoon - set to the tune of "In My Wildest Dreams" by Belinda Carlisle!

Hawk like an Egyptian...

- Before he gets his job as a department store window artist, Jonathan works as a balloon animal maker, hedge-trimmer and pizza boy - but gets fired for making giraffes, foliage and pies into works of art. That's unnecessary montage lingo for "this guy is the REAL DEAL."
- Golden Girl Estelle Getty plays the store's sweet and sassy owner.

- At one point, Andrew McCarthy lip-synchs "My Girl" into a fake arm.

"I wanna hold her....dismembered arm."

- The security guard's reasoning for calling his guard-bulldog Rambo: "He draws first blood!"
- McCarthy's Pretty in Pink co-star, James Spader, plays the store's yuppie manager. He's perfectly douche-y, but not in a I'm-Steff-and-I'm-hot-feathered-hair-boring-as-hell-shit kind of way.
- On their second night together, Emmy and Jonathan have a costume change-filled montage dance party to the Alisha hit, "Do You Dream About Me."

- During said montage, Jonathan tries to be the Phantom of the Randomly Appearing Organ.

Sing to me, angel of 80s dance music!

- When the song first comes out of the giant speakers, Emmy exclaims, "WHERE DO THEY HIDE THE MUSICIANS!!?"

- Emmy is pretty much a baby Samantha. Girlie strips naked five minutes after meeting Jonathan. Another night, she has sex with him all over the store. First they hit up the outdoors section (tent!), then they head over to the furniture area (hammock!) and finally, they cap things off with a visit to the luxury items (fur coat pile!). I'm surprised they didn't end up on a swing.

- There are sudden uses of fun-shaped scene transition effects. You know, the kind you used on Windows Movie Maker in Grade 7.
- Jonathan's in-store BFF, and partner in badass mannequin styling, is the SASSIEST gay friend ever - window dresser and abstract sunglasses collector, Hollywood Montrose!

Sidekick. Sunglasses lover. Sasspot.

- Hollywood bonuses (as if that name wasn't enough)! Dude can silence a room with the snap of his bedazzled fingers. Oh, and he drives a hot pink convertible with a license plate that reads: "HOT GIRL."

- Jonathan: "We need to make a list... 30 feet of nylon cord..." Hollywood: "Ow! Sounds like my kind of list!"

- It was nominated for an Oscar - for Best Original Song. Wait, it gets better. The tune in question? Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now"!


  1. I always loved this movie!! I think I was about 10 when I saw it the first time!

  2. DITTO! It's just so much fun.