When Larry Met Ivana
Talk about odd couples! In Witless Protection, Larry the Cable Guy and Bond girl Ivana Milicevic make up one of the oddest ones on film. Larry plays an uncouth, down-home ol’ boy; Ivana portrays an elegant, high-class woman. When these two very different people come together, they clash immediately -- and, in many scenes, quite amusingly. Although this movie comes across as a bit too crude for me, I believe fans of Larry the Cable Guy will enjoy it and that Milicevic, who shows a special flair for comedy here, will end up recruiting many new fans of her own.
Not every hero is as suave and sophisticated as James Bond. Some may even look and behave like Larry the Cable Guy. His character in this movie displays many heroic qualities, including drive and determination, but his sloppy appearance and off-putting demeanor are certainly deceiving. Larry tries to rescue a damsel he thinks is in distress (Milicevic), only to find out her “kidnappers” are FBI agents. The woman just happens to be an important witness in an upcoming trial.
Because Larry still distrusts the agents, he forces the cultured lady into a road trip with him while hoping to solve the case himself. Humorous interactions between the two main characters emphasize how little they have in common. To me, this is the best part of the movie. Unfortunately, when Larry and his lovely, reluctant partner try to fit into a society get-together at the end of their journey, the film falters by losing the intimacy of the relationship developed between its unusual protagonists.
However, during the last part of the movie, Milicevic’s character dons an eye-popping disguise and perks things up considerably. Seeing Milicevic (Casino Royale) in a stylish brunette wig and stunning scarlet gown is like finding a precious ruby in a big pile of mud (as you can probably guess, “mud” is a euphemism for something else used way too much in Witless Prosecution).
Supporting cast members Peter Stormare (Fargo) and Eric Roberts (DOA: Dead or Alive) chew the scenery more than necessary, but they offer a surprise or two as a snobbish villain and his smarmy henchman, respectively. Pretty Jenny McCarthy (Scary Movie 3), as Larry the Cable Guy’s sexy girlfriend, appears in a couple of scenes, and a practically unrecognizable Joe Mantegna (TV’s Criminal Minds) steals a funny funeral parlor sequence. But, of course, this wacky comedy belongs to Milicevic and Larry the Cable Guy. Although they’re not Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable in It Happened One Night, their bizarre chemistry seems to work.
(Released by Lionsgate and rated “PG-13” for crude and sex-related humor.)
Listen to Betty Jo’s interview with Ivana Milicevic by clicking here.