By Caroline Roosevelt of The Daily Life of Jackson Mollusk
This election cycle has gone from funny, to bad, to terrifying, to–what’s worse than terrifying? It’s straight up embalmed at this point. It’s unprecedented that we have an eccentric billionaire essentially buying the election while promising nothing. Or is it? This week’s YFFIT draws some all too apt comparisons from Richard Pryors’ 1985 classic, Brewster’s Millions.
1.) Why Are You All Wearing Such Garbage Clothes?
The story begins with a broke, has-been pitcher for the Hackensack minor league team, Richard Pryor, I mean Monty Brewster. He’s broke, and this is New Jersey and the film reminds us of that every 10 seconds. Personally, I think the train cutting through the outfield is a little much. But, I’ve never lived in New Jersey.
Because it’s New Jersey, we’re immediately introduced to an asshole in a fedora. Brewster notices him snapping photos in the bleachers and gears up to be headhunted for the New York Yankees. Makes sense. Especially makes sense because Richard Pryor was a spry 45 years old in this film and it shows.
Queue to gross New Jersey bar where John Candy shows up as Monty Brewsters’ wingman, Spike Nolan. I’d personally say it’s a bad call to have John Candy as your wingman. But then again, I’ve never lived in New Jersey. They’re picking up two women who appear surprisingly interested although it’s very clear that John Candy is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Oh but there’s a catch! They’re both engaged and so the night ends poorly for Brewster and his buddy, Nolan. They get beat up and thrown in jail for the night. Their excuse for hitting on these taken ladies, “You don’t get sales if you don’t make calls!” I’ll just shudder quietly to myself now.
How will they ever get bailed out now? Oh hey, welcome back, Fedora guy. I totally didn’t wonder where you were, but here you are, bailing out two 40 something men from a drunk tank. What the hell is in it for you?
2.) Is The Motivation Behind The Plot Really That Exciting Or Difficult? The Answer Is No.
Brewster is escorted to a law firm, where he still is under the impression that he’s being somehow vetted for the Yankees. As he walks into the back office, John Candy’s character settles into a chair in the waiting room where we realize, HE’S BEEN WEARING SWEATPANTS THIS WHOLE TIME.
Wait, that’s not the exciting new plot development.
We learn that Brewster inherited $30 million dollars from his rich, old, white grandfather. He will receive his true inheritance of $300 million dollars if he can managed to spend this first $30 million dollars in 30 days without any accrued assets. What to do what to do…. I thought about what I would do, I would travel to Japan and just hang out for a while. I hear it’s like eight dollars for an apple in Tokyo. Seems like an easy answer to the problem, but then this movie wouldn’t exist.
3.) Who Tossed The Dad From 7th Heaven In Here?
To prove that this deal is serious, the law firm places him in the hands of randomly sexy paralegal #1, Angela Drake. Brewster eventually wins over this chilly, professional woman. How could she be so chilly and professional you ask? She’s a woman! If she’s professional, she’s probably chilly. At least not…nasty….
OH also, she’s begrudgingly engaged to the dad from 7th Heaven. No joke. This guy is the worst.
He ends up colluding with the lawyers to make sure that Brewster doesn’t spend all of his inheritance and thus the money would go to them. Buuuuut, it doesn’t work out. Nice try, Dad from 7th Heaven, nice try.
So here’s Monty Brewster, spending millions on a rented apartment at the Plaza Hotel, paying anyone who lifts a finger $100,000 to work for him just to burn through cash. Not exactly like Trump. I mean the people are getting paid.
Realizing that he’s not going to be able to spend all of this money by just being irresponsible and frivolous. (He at one point agrees to buy an iceberg to ship down to the middle east to provide water for farmers in the desert. “All those thirsty Arab farmers!”) Yikes, guys.
4.) We Are Ok, Right? This Movie Doesn’t Reflect Any Real Truths About Our Election Does It? (Shhhh.)
How else can one recklessly spend money without receiving any physical reminders of it? Run for Mayor of New York City! But obviously, he doesn’t want to win, as that would be something he would have to show for his wealth. So, he literally buys the election, tells people he doesn’t want to win, “Only an idiot would vote for me!” and campaigns under the slogan, “NONE OF THE ABOVE,” which, I’m sure is how a lot of people in 2016 feel at this moment.
The ironic part of his campaign is that people get behind it, despite the fact that he has no experience, doesn’t actually want the position, and has the weird yet not necessarily uncommon background of being broke, suddenly falling into wealth, and then spending it recklessly. I’m just going to go slither into a drain and pretend life doesn’t imitate art and that’s not a thing and we will all be okay.
The common people get behind him with their pork pie hats, picket signs, screaming “NONE OF THE ABOVE!” And pundits ask, “I’d hate to see what he could do if he was serious!”
The parallels are depressing and present. He eventually goes broke successfully, while also defeating all the other candidates. He moves out of his apartment, and after a quick moment of almost being foiled by Dad from 7th Heaven, he inherits his $300 million dollars and we’re all so happy for him. Good prevails, even though he screwed over NYC and the state of their election is unclear and they seem to be mayor-less. This would normally be a problem right? Impending anarchy in one of the largest cities in the country slash world? AND JOHN CANDY HAS BEEN WEARING SWEATPANTS THIS WHOLE TIME.