Things have to be just perfect for my wife and I to sit through a movie like this. This movie has a lot going against it. It’s 70’s old, which is a pretty big deal breaker if the movie is not popular. Second, it’s a TV movie, which means that – well, it’s a 70’s TV movie, so again, it’s like a hundred percent guarantee that this movie is gonna suck – hard.
Now one might think that the subject matter – VD – is another strike against it, and in that you would be so wrong. The fact that it’s about VD pretty much cancels out everything that is bad about the movie. A TV movie about VD that was made in the 70’s, when things were getting bad (I say that based on the fact that a fucking TV movie had to be made in the 70’s to broach the subject of VD and the importance of fighting it, as well as the tagline for the show which states that it is in fact - at that time - a “terrifying epidemic”), is ripe with comedy gold: at least that’s what my wife and I were counting on.
We could not have been more dead on!
First of all, after seeing the movie and before writing a review, I had to do some research into VD, as I have never met the fella (I swear), and my wife’s knowledge was from an episode of Law and Order; so to Wikipedia, where I read a bit and scrolled down and was treated to a brief picture of a deformed penis, at which point I freaked out – either from the deformation, or the picture of the penis, I know not which – and instantly went to close the window down, of course I was so disturbed that I kept missing the X to close the window. I had a vision of one of my kids walking up to me while daddy was feverishly clicking the mouse to a picture of a deformed penis.
I opted to just shut the computer off because I was beginning to feel that the penis in the picture wasn’t letting me close out of the internet.
So from what I gathered, syphilis is some nasty stuff – pretty harmless at first, and easy to cure, but if not treated it’s gonna mess you up – bad. Reading up on the stuff is the first time I realized that yeah, this stuff is really bad and serious and not at all funny . . . like not at all . . .
It was the thing to do I guess? Make a TV movie about a serious thing to get the word out to as many people as possible? I can't help but wonder what good this TV movie did, if any, for the battle against syphilis.
On Netflix all we could see at first was the picture of Cloris Leachman and the title Someone I Touched. Not sure what they were going for in the 70’s with a title like that but my wife and I thought child molestation, I hope that’s not a reflection of us but that’s just what we thought, then we read the Netflix description:
Sam Hyatt (James Olson) isn't faithful to his wife, Laura (Cloris Leachman), but when he contracts a venereal disease -- one he may have passed along to Laura -- concealing his indiscretions becomes impossible. Complicating their endangered marriage is Laura's long-awaited pregnancy. Lou Antonio (The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid) directs this made-for-television drama that features Leachman singing the title song.
We were bored, and as much as we love Netflix, there just wasn’t anything “good” that we wanted to see. We had searched a bit for something to watch, not so much that it was late and our hunt for a movie had turned into a hunt for a TV show, but it was almost at that point. I gave up on it all and just pushed play. At least we’d find out how bad it was and then move on to something else.
With Netflix it is so easy to just stop a bad movie and go to another one that for us to actually watch an entire movie says something. We may still not like the movie, but for us to finish it says that there was at least some entertainment.
Someone I Touched let us be MST3K, it is ripe for that. The acting actually isn’t bad, I mean, with what the people were given, they did well; except for the main character guy, he just looked lost and angry (though that also could have been his character), the story is weird, and I don’t mean the VD stuff, I mean the way the story plays out. Cloris Leachman’s character’s hinted depression, or some sort of mental disorder, and the young girl’s mother who consoles her daughter when she thinks she’s pregnant, but when she finds out that her daughter has syphilis instead of a baby – her mom goes ape shit and slaps the crap out of her daughter – a lot. The way Cloris Leachman and her husband take everything in stride were some of the funniest moments and caused my wife and I to discuss what we’d do if I came home with the news of cheating on her and ALSO we both have syphilis – plus Cloris Leachman is pregnant, which I read on Wikipedia is bad for the baby – but that’s as far as I got before the syphilitic penis took control of either my computer or my mind.
Seriously though, the lack of drama or action – or reaction – when people find out about having syphilis, and infidelity is disturbingly hilarious, while at the same time the awkward moments of Cloris Leachman teetering on admitting to herself and her husband that she may have a serious mental problem, or the previously mentioned mother daughter slap-fest are all hilariously disturbing.
There is a twist in this movie!
Of course me mentioning it kind of ruins it because you’ll look for it, but still, my wife and I watched the movie with no idea of how it was going to play out, which was one of the main draws that kept us watching. How is this gonna end? And then something happens – we find something out – that made both my wife and I verbally cry out with a sound of pain and then laughter. No matter how bad a movie is, if you’re even watching it as a joke, and something happens that makes you seriously have a surprise verbal reaction, it’s an entertaining movie. I included a video of highlights from the movie below that shows this movie was NOT written by a woman who has been married to a man, and had a baby with a man, who had cheated on her and then gave her syphilis, and in turn put their baby at risk of the disease as well.
There is an actor in this movie, a smaller part, but the guy looked immediately familiar, but I wasn’t sure where from. The face was so familiar that it was kind of cool to see the guy so young because I’d seen him only older, and always in funny roles. But where? I searched and found out that he was in Malcolm in the Middle as the older brother’s boss after Reese, I think, escaped, I think, the military school and found a job on the ranch or something? The guy was hilarious in that show, so awesome and funny that it was cool seeing him here, a young single guy in the 70’s hitting on Cloris Leachman.
Then I found out the guy passed away a few years ago!
How did I not know this? Kenneth Mars died on February 12, 2011? Again, how did I not know this.
I bet that guy was freaking awesome to hang out with.
Someone I Touched will always be – to me – his last movie, and it was a good one, not only because it was short – though that helped immensely – and not because it was good, but definitely because it was entertaining, and for that night my wife and I watched a show neither of us had heard of, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed.