(1982, US, 98 min) Dir Edgar Pooley. Cast Dudley Moore, Daryl Hannah, Martin Short.
Dudley Moore stars as pretentious experimental pianist Radley Moone who has been sequestered in a secluded beach house by his manager (Short – yes, manic) to work on his newest compositions for the New York Festival of Contemporary Music. His star is on the wane, his reputation stalling and this is to be his big comeback. Radley’s gimmick, as a musician, is that each piano piece he composes is directly inspired by the feeling of passing his bowel movements but disaster has struck – he’s constipated! He spends his days munching bran, guzzling prune juice and walking along the beach which is where he meets budding young cellist June (Hannah) and comes to think that maybe there’s more in life to write music about than his bodily motions. It’s an absurd premise played straight and it flopped hard – audiences who flocked to ‘Cuddly Dudley’ in the previous years’ 10 weren’t hot on seeing him obsess about his leavings. The only silver lining are the times when Moore gets to play the piano, in particular an extended seduction scene where he ably mimics the playing style of a dozen or more pianists, much to the obvious and unfaked delight of both Hannah and he.