Andrea Martin and Mary Gross in Club Paradise (1986)

There’s no real nudity, but it’s not so bad if you have a little imagination

Andrea Martin

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Mary Gross

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Bonus: Andrea Martin in an SCTV reunion:

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Comments about the film follow, if you are curious:

This must have looked good on paper. The director was Harold Ramis, who had just directed Caddyshack and the first Vacation film. One of the writers was Chris Miller, whose Dartmouth days formed the basis for Animal House. Another was Ramis himself. The budget allowed for some excellent production values. It starred comic genius Robin Williams and the legendary Peter O’Toole. The supporting cast consisted of four veterans from SCTV and two from SNL, plus Twiggy and Joanna Cassidy. Jimmy Cliff wrote the Caribbean-inspired score.

Despite all of those potential assets, the whole thing is a mess, and there are really no characters that attract our sympathy, possibly excepting ol’ Larry of Arabia and Mary Gross, who was sweetly believable in a tiny role. Even Robin Williams seems sleazy. Williams is supposed to be the kindly owner of a run-down resort. In theory, it’s a “slobs versus snobs” comedy, with Robin as the underdog in competition with the island’s snooty resort, which is full of yachtsmen and polo players. Unfortunately, our hero is shown flagrantly deceiving his guests with unfulfilled promises. It’s not easy to identify with the usually sympathetic Robin Williams when we see him conning and cheating his guests with faulty plumbing and deceptive advertising. At least the antagonist cliche – the “evil resort owner” on the other side of the island – gives his guests a first-class experience.

As for the minor characters, they are pretty much wasted as undeveloped caricatures, and most of the actors spend the film mugging. Joe Flaherty, as a clueless pilot, provided the most shamefully low-brow slapstick performance in the group, but he had plenty of competition from the likes of surly Robin Duke, overly enthusiastic Andrea Martin, and nerdy Eugene Levy.