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The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998)

VHS Cover (Touchstone Pictures)
Genres:
Comedy Drama, Fantasy Comedy
Director:
Stuart Gordon Stuart Gordon
Starring:
Joe Mantegna Joe Mantegna
Esai Morales Esai Morales
Edward James Olmos Edward James Olmos
Clifton Collins Jr. Clifton Collins Jr.
Gregory Sierra Gregory Sierra

6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: August 15, 2007
With the recent review of "Re-Animator" being posted, I thought it might be a good time to re-visit some classic Stuart Gordon films that I hadn't seen in a while. It just so happens that my VHS collection features one of his most unknown and underappreciated films -- "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Based on a short story by the king of all things literary -- Ray Bradbury -- the film was released in 1998 to very little acclaim and reception. Most people probably don't even know this film exists. I remember seeing it on VHS when it first came out, purchasing it and then forgetting all about it -- until now. It is currently unavailable on DVD here in the United States.

Joe Mantegna stars as Gomez, a middle-aged man who dreams of buying a gorgeous white suit from a nearby store -- he thinks it will really take him somewhere. However, he can't afford it. So, he finds four people of the exact same size and convinces them to each put up $20.00 of the price, meaning that they will each get to wear the suit for one hour, in return. So, they agree. However, this is no ordinary suit. The suit has the power to make the wishes of the person wearing it come true. The four suit wearers are played by Esai Morales, Edward James Olmos, Clifton Collins, Jr. and Gregory Sierra.

This is just such an unusual and special little film. Plots don't get much more original than this, and you can thank Ray Bradbury for that, a man whose imagination never ceases to amaze me. This is one of his most adventurous and zany stories and director Stuart Gordon aptly brings it to screen. The colors are bright, the acting is just right, and the whole film feels bigger and flashier than it was ever treated. I look at this film and think of the treatment it was given and can't help but think it might have something to do with the fact that most Latino films underperform at the box office. I think American audiences don't enjoy films with Hispanic leads as much as others, and that is just one part of the growing racism in the country that has been lingering for years and years.

This film deserves to be re-discovered, and if you're a Stuart Gordon fan, it certainly deserves to be added to his long and impressive resume of accomplishments on your watch list. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" is going to be difficult to track down, but once you do, you'll be glad you did. Hell, I might send you my copy. 9/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 08/15/2007, 10:28 AM
I saw this a long time ago, after it was advertised on some old VHS movie I had. Hilarious. I was pretty young, and it didn't make a ton of sense to me, but I still found it highly enjoyable. Another one I'll have to track down.
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