Thursday, July 17, 2014

Movie Review: Johnny Lingo

Johnny Lingo is a unique little slice of LDS cultural lagniappe, and as such is very easy to take for granted. Anyone raised in the Church is familiar with the story, and the concept of being an '8-cow wife' (more on this in a second) and the other distinctive aspects of the 'movie,' which at 29-minutes long is more a one-episode TV mini-series than a movie, but whatever.

We start off with Johnny Lingo, ruggedly handsome dude and all-around good guy, who is Polynesian and yet has a name that sounds like he was one of Patrick Swayze's surfer gang members from Point Break.

Johnny Lingo is interested in marrying a girl named Mahana, and shows up at Mahana's house to bargain with her dad...

I felt like Moki when Johnny Lingo offered 8 cows for Mahana.
Pictured here, sporting his very best 'Velma' haircut.

...and his best friend, the enigmatic and nameless 'counselor' of completely indeterminate age and gender.

If you gave me a million dollars I still couldn't tell you if this is a man or a woman.

Poor Mahana is (figuratively) beaten down by her dad and, with no modern Disney movies around, has no way of knowing she just needs to believe in herself, and would it kill you to put on some makeup or something?

Mahana: for when you're attracted for some reason to the 4-day heroin binge look.

Dad thinks Mahana is worth, at best, 3 cows, but Johnny blows everyone's minds when he declares that he will pay 8 COWS for Mahana. This is the cow equivalent of demanding to pay $2,000 for USA For Africa's "We are the World" on 8-track. This despite Dad exclaiming, "Mahana, you ugly!" just moments before.

"You're no Adam Levine yourself, Dad."
Anyway, despite Dad's doubts, Johnny Lingo makes good on the cow thing, and shows up to whisk Mahana away to places unknown, 'visiting many islands.' They get married (apparently - it's off-screen), but the shoot really hits the fan when some juvenile delinquents make up a mean anti-Mahana chant at the wedding dinner, and Johnny Lingo runs them off with a nonsense threat.

"Kooie Phlay!!!"

Around this point I'd like to mention that the film didn't apparently have any lights for the shoot and thus filmed about 25% of the movie by, apparently, moonlight.

Johnny and Mahana Lingo take off in his 8-cowpower boat and that's the last we see of them until the end, when a shopkeeper guy (oh sorry, there was a shopkeeper guy) hears that the Lingos are finally back from their honeymoon. He arrives to deliver something that Johnny had put on layaway, and discovers Mahana's Dad leaving in disgust, mumbling that Johnny Lingo had 'cheated him.' Baffled, the shopkeeper goes into the Lingo's house to discover...

Someone got a JC Penney card...

Mahana is pretty now! Or at least she smiles a little more. You see, all she needed was a little nurturing, a new wardrobe, some makeup, a nearly total make-over, a haircut, a pedicure, a manicure, posture lessons, an eyebrow plucking, a completely different personality, and a wealthy/attractive husband who excessively spoils you, and poof! She's hot and emotionally stable, just like that!

And all it took was love, and several thousands of dollars.

The shopkeeper pervs out on Mahana and almost literally starts drooling on himself until Mahana, realizing that things are getting weird and not a little bit uncomfortable, excuses herself to attend to an urgent errand involving walking over to the beach for no reason.

OK pal, let's reel it back in a little...

Johnny Lingo helpfully explains to the shopkeeper that blah blah blah something believe in yourself blah blah possibly plastic sugery, you too can be hot like us. 

I give it 8 cows out of 8. And if you want to, you can watch the entire movie here.

1 comment:

Hillary said...

It's the original Extreme Makeover. The Church should really look into suing ABC for royalties.