Tapeheads (1988)

This silly comedy doesn’t really have much to say about anything, but it sure is a lot of fun to watch. The first half hour is a little on the labored side, with unfunny slapstick bits interspersed with semi-interesting (albeit rushed) character development, but when the unlikely plot fully kicks in, the movie finds its footing. Leads John Cusack and Tim Robbins don’t have a whole lot of onscreen chemistry but individually, they’re entertaining enough to keep the viewers going. They both play aspiring music video directors who have a lot of wild experiences while trying to break through the music industry, and those music videos (while often rudimentary) are nevertheless inventive and entertaining as hell (in particular “Baby Doll” by Cube-Squared and the Swanky Modes’s “Ordinary Man”). There’s a secondary plot involving Clu Gulager as a shameless politician but it doesn’t really matter: It’s inconsequential even though it allows the movie to chug along, because really, this is all about the comedy hijinks and the MTV-like music videos that are interspersed throughout. Watch for a brief, uncredited cameo by Courtney Love near the end.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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