I DON’T BUY KISSES ANYMORE

I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore

I DON’T BUY KISSES ANYMORE (1992)

TAGLINE: “Bernie and Theresa have only one thing in common… they were made for each other”

IMDB Rating: 6.0/10

God, fat people are disgusting. Just repellent. Their corpulence an ostentatious reminder to the world of their profound psychological weakness. They are lazy. Ugly. Pitiful. Unlovable.

Such is the theme of the romantic ‘comedy’, ‘I Don’t Buy Kisses Anymore’.

Hilarious.

Firstly, it’s a misleading title- it sounds like it should be a film about a man who has managed to wean himself off his long-term addiction to prostitutes*. A presumption not helped by the cover on which the female ‘star’, Nia Peeples (‘Theresa’) appears to be very much dressed like a pro, touting for action. In fact, it’s a tale about a lonely, overweight shoe salesman, Bernie Fishbine, (Jason Alexander from Seinfeld), who one night, meets a pretty Italian girl on the bus home. A Jew and an Italian? They can’t possibly get along, can they?! Imagine the hilarious ethnic mismatch that would ensue…

So far, so predictable. Except this is one of the most bizarre ‘comedies’ we’ve ever seen. Bernie and Theresa get friendly on their bus journeys and eventually, she invites him to where she works, her uncle’s Italian restaurant, where she’s a singer. And Jesus, the songs she sings…. Of which, more later.

Bernie has two courses at the restaurant. Why? Because he’s hungry and he missed dinner. This leads Theresa to politely ask him how he feels about being such a fat, flabby f*ck and why he doesn’t do something about it. At least, that’s the subtext. So on this, their first real meeting outside of a bus, she drags him straight from the restaurant to a gymnasium so he can fully appreciate his repugnance via the medium of exercise. Now most men might politely offer the judgemental cow the opportunity to go fornicate herself. But Bernie likes her for some reason, and the plot requires him to go- so he signs up.

jason alexander
Not Brad Pitt. So?

 

Cue the predictable ‘comedy’ montage as Bernie attempts to exercise under the watchful, bulging eyes of a camp, German fitness instructor who loves steroids even more than he loves his own reflection, or humiliating chubsters. Look at the fat guy! In a gym! Trying to exercise next to the beautiful thin people! What a loser! How embarrassing for him…and for us!

If there’s one thing the Germans can do, it’s camp


Furthermore, this supposed sweet, charming girl who apparently only has Bernie’s interests at heart, and who the director still wants us to like, is doing a Masters Degree in her spare time. On why fat men are so shamefully fat and disgusting. We’re not joking. And she’s using the smitten Bernie as a case study. If she breaks his heart, will he revert to his old ways? How much stress will it take for him to start stuffing his fat face again? Which makes him an unassuming lab rat… …and which makes her a manipulative, scheming, superficial, amoral bitch.

As Bernie, falls for his dream girl who only pretends to like him for his personality, any semblance of comedy gallops over a distant hill as she consistently, offensively and aggressively chides him for eating perfectly reasonable amounts of food. And for trying to be happy.

When Bernie finds out he is just a test subject, he becomes understandably upset. Her response? ‘When I met you, you were just a fat candy-holic, sitting around eating chocolates all day’. The laughter! The romance! It’s like a Hepburn-Tracey movie! At one point, she actually has the gall to get angry because she is so beautiful, and people refuse to see what’s on the inside. WTF? This film is actually inducing an anger that makes us want to fight someone. Mainly the writer, director and selected cast members.

But let’s return to the songs she sings in the restaurant. Holy, consecrated mother of Jesus… Italy boasts a rich musical heritage. Theresa has an extraordinary canon from which to choose to entertain the diners. So is it Verdi? Puccini? Hell no.

Some music is so beautiful, so transcendent, so ethereal, the emotions elicited defy the written word. Unfortunately, the same can equally be said of the very worst music. It is impossible to do full justice to the sheer awfulness of the songs featured in IDBKA. Clichéd songs about being an ‘Italian-a’ that make Joe Dolce’s ‘Shaddap You Face’ sound like ‘Madam Butterfly’. The songs are written in English. By a bloke called Les Baxter. How exotic. They are so awful, you wish you had been born deaf. You wish ears had never been invented. As the second verse kicks in, you look around furiously for something to stab yourself through the head with. Excruciating. We don’t have the words. Nobody does.

Enjoying the ‘I Don’t Buy Kisses Anymore’  Soundtrack

It’s important to mention that despite the whole theme of this weirdly misjudged film being both completely despicable and entirely unbelievable, Jason Alexander is a class act. He wrings everything possible out of a desiccated script. It’s no surprise that he became a star and Nia Peeples went on to do Blues Brothers 2000. She is rubbish on a level rarely achieved on celluloid. And there is about as much chemistry between them as between an unflushed stool and a toilet bowl.

The script is rubbish, the direction amateurish, the plot risible and the laugh count zero. And the songs, mamma mia, the songs. As with music, Italy also has a proud tradition of fascism so it’s nice to see a woman keeping that tradition alive by picking on the supposed less perfect in society. You just hope her character dies haggard, alone and unloved in a dingy flat, eaten by her own cats. Who just wanted her to stop singing those god awful songs.

*Note to self- steal this idea.


Trailer- I Don’t Buy Kisses Anymore.

One Comment

  1. Regina says:

    Thank you for calling this drivel out for what it is! I can’t believe people have given this movie four/five stars out of five on Amazon. Is fat hatred that deeply unconscious? I guess so. And why why why did Alexander do this movie anyway? Did he just want to fulfill his leading man dream? This whole thing is way beneath him. I think the script must have been written by Herbalife, which apparently sponsored the movie (product placement). It’s a horrible, horrible film: bad acting, slow pacing, stupid plot, insulting ending and offensive treatment of fat people. UGH!!

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