January 12, 2013
Nicolas Cage, James Caan, and Sarah Jessica Parker
I know that it has become very trendy in recent years to make
of Nicolas Cage. People love to make fun of the fact that he
will star in any movie that is offered to him, as long as there is a
paycheck involved, B) has no nuance in his acting style whatsoever,
everything he says is either whispering or screaming, and C) is so over
the top and cartoony that it is almost impossible to ever take
seriously as an actor.
I will admit that there have been a lot of valid criticisms leveled at
Nicolas Cage. And yes, I will admit that in recent years he
made a lot of shitty movies. And yes, I wil admit that he is
kind of an acquired taste.
But for the purposes of my
list, that sort of stuff doesn't matter. Because I have
loved Honeymoon in Vegas. And Nicolas Cage is absolutely
for Honeymoon in Vegas.
Nobody else could have pulled off
the over-the-top frantic yelling/panicking/freaking
out/running/screaming role quite like he did.
Nicolas Cage mid meltdowns
If you have never seen Honeymoon in Vegas before, the plot of
it is thus. Jack Singer (Nicolas Cage) is a man who is
to get married. And this is probably because his dying mother
made him make a promise. On her deathbed, on her dying day,
she made him swear to her that he would never get married.
Because in his dear old mother's eyes, "no woman will truly
you happy" and "you don't want that kind of pain in your life."
Jack has this dark cloud of doom hanging over his head for most of his
life. He is never supposed to get married. He is
supposed to get married because his loving mother made him promise that
he would never do it in honor of her.
Jack promising his mother that he will never get married
And then things change.
Jack meets a wonderful girl named Betsy Nolan (Sarah Jessica
Parker). And, well, as young couples do, they fall in love
Betsy wants to get married. But Jack can't do it.
do it because he promised his mother.
So Betsy begs him. And she pleads. And she cajoles.
And she threatens to break up.
then, finally, Jack relents and he gives in. Okay, he says,
can get married, but we have to do it fast. We have to do it
right now this weekend before I change my mind. So they plan
run off to Las Vegas and get married in a quickie little wedding on the
Strip. And then when that is over they can come back to New
and they can have a honeymoon like a normal married couple.
Jack and Betsy in Las Vegas
And this is where the comedy of the movie comes in.
and Betsy go to Las Vegas, and when they are waiting to check in the
lobby of the Bally Hotel, they are noticed by a famous gambler named
Tommy Korman (James Caan). Korman takes one look at Betsy and
realizes she is the spitting image of his beloved wife that he lost to
cancer a couple of years ago. He sees her and he is instantly
smitten in love. And once he sees her, the most famous and
powerful gambler in Las Vegas immediately comes up with a plan.
He is going to do everything in his power to steal Betsy from
Jack, and win her for himself.
This is where the most famous scene in the movie comes in.
Tommy Korman invites Jack to play a "friendly" game of poker,
theoretically been set up by Bally for their out of town guests.
well, since Tommy is a hardcore professional gambler who never loses,
and Jack is a yokel, Tommy totally cleans him out. After a
of hours Jack Singer now owes Tommy Korman something like a hundred
Well at this point Jack knows he is fucked.
He doesn't have that kind of money. And he knows
you owe that kind of money to a professional gambler you are liable to
get your kneecaps broken. Or worse.
But then Tommy comes up with a plan.
Out of the goodness of his heart, he offers to erase all of
Jack's debts if Jack will allow him to borrow his girlfriend for the
weekend. Come on, he says, just let me hang out with Betsy
days. Then afterwards you can have her back and you two can
married and you can go back to New York. And after that all
debts will be erased and you won't owe me anything, no questions asked.
And from this point on, we immediately jump into frantic Nicolas Cage
screaming comedy mode.
Tommy Korman explaining the realities of Jack's situation to him
Jack trying to explain to Betsy that he lost her in a poker game
Seriously, I understand why people hate Nicolas Cage
movies. I understand it. He really has never been a
dramatic actor. With that face, and those mannerisms, and
eyebrows, it is nearly impossible to take him seriously. And
of course all the whispering and screaming and random outbursts and
freak outs certainly don't help.
But again. That is what makes him
absolutely PERFECT for Honeymoon in Vegas. It is one of those
rare movies where the story and the action and the dialogue and the
style just match the actor PERFECTLY.
I can name about 20 great
Nicolas Cage moments in this movie. And they are only moments
that Nicolas Cage could have ever pulled off. Whether they
are quotes, or
mannerisms, or just some frustrated look he gives to the camera, he
just owns this movie nearly every single minute he is on screen.
Especially when he gets back to Betsy and they start arguing.
I mean, my goodness, I haven't seen this movie in nearly five
years and I can probably reel off ten great Cage quotes off the top of
my head just from that one scene alone.
Do you know what a straight flush is? It's... like... unbeatable.
unbeatable" is not unbeatable.
Jack Singer [screaming]:
HEY, I KNOW THAT NOW! OKAY?
(I love this entire next exchange. This is Cage at his best)
Betsy, hi, so what's the story?
have to pack.
Jack Singer [happy]:
We can leave! What did you work out?
he's taking me to Hawaii. It's only for a few days.
Come on. You're so like bliiiiiithe about this all of a sudden, LIKE
YOU DON'T GIVE A DAMN!
course I give a damn but this was not my idea okay, Jack. Poker was not
Would you please stop CRUCIFYING ME with this?
He's going to jump all over you the second he gets there.
won't let him. Oh please, Jack, give me a little credit.
He'll overcome you. What happens if you start screaming? IT'S LIKE A
JUNGLE OVER THERE!. He probably has servants and bodyguards and
believe... me... THEY... WILL DRUG YOU!!!
son is going to be there, Jack. His granddaughter Tiffany will be
She knows the kid's name already. Listen, you'll be back Monday?
don't know. Probably Tuesday or Wednesday.
TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY?!? THAT'S ALMOST A WEEK!!!
you expect us to fly back and forth to Hawaii in 2 days?
"Us"? Already it's "us".
don't be infantile. I'm trying to make the best of this.
"You turned me into a whore, Jack! You took me to Las Vegas
and you turned me into a whore!"
Besides being a movie that is perfectly tailored for the
spazziness of Nicolas Cage (seriously, I can't overstate how perfect
is for him), the other thing that is significant about Honeymoon in
Vegas is the soundtrack. As many people have pointed out in
user reviews, Honeymoon in Vegas has one of the best movie soundtracks
of the past 30 years. It is just chock full of Elvis hit
Elvis hit after Elvis hit. Only they aren't the original
hits. They are all modern covers sung by artists in the 90's.
And they give this movie a fun, rocking, Las Vegas feel that
really sort of elevates it into something that is better than
I remember when Honeymoon in Vegas first came out in 1992,
the very first thing I did was I went out and I bought the
soundtrack. Because it is that good. In fact I
soundtrack for years before I ever actually owned the movie.
eventually came around and bought the movie too, but that was only
because I loved the soundtrack so much.
Oh and hey, quick Honeymoon in Vegas music trivia
note. All throughout the movie, there are scenes with random
impersonators scattered throughout the background. There are
Elvises, there are young Elvises, there are black Elvises, there is
a Hindu Elvis. And then at one point we even get to see a
performance by a little kid Elvis.
Little kid Elvis
Well my brother Dominic was amazed by this kid. For
years, whenever we talked about Honeymoon in Vegas, my brother would
always say the same thing. He would always say "That movie
was hilarious, but that little kid Elvis was my favorite.
was amazing. He sang just like Elvis."
It turns out years
later that that little kid grew up to be Bruno Mars. True
Bruno Mars who would later become an enormous singing star,
and a guy who owned celebrity music impressions on
Saturday Night Live.
My brother was probably the first big Bruno Mars fan in America.
And at the time, Bruno was only about five years old.
Young Bruno Mars rocks your world
short, if you hate Nicolas Cage, if you have no idea why he is a movie
star, or why he ever even became a movie star, then you need to watch
Honeymoon in Vegas. Because this movie will answer that for
Yes, Nicolas Cage whispers and screams and is cartoony and over the
top in a lot of movies, but in Honeymoon in Vegas he is just PERFECT.
This was a movie that was made for an actor like him.
has so many great quotes and one liners and screaming panic attacks
that after a while it more or less just becomes a Nicolas Cage movie.
is no one else in Honeymoon in Vegas after a while. You are
sitting there waiting for Nicolas Cage to freak out about something
trivial and start screaming again.
In fact, I think it is safe
to say that he owns this movie as completely and as perfectly as Bill
Murray owned Meatballs. This is his movie. And if
like him after watching him at his peak in Honeymoon in Vegas, well
then I don't know what to tell you. I doubt
it will be possible for you to ever like him.
Nicolas Cage sulking with Mister Miyagi
in Vegas was a modest hit when it came out in 1992. It made
money, it got a couple of fans, but it was nothing special.
one ever talked about it as being one of the funnier movies of the
90's. But the more I watch it, the more I appreciate it, the
fun it is to watch Nicolas Cage panic and scream and FREAK OUT, the
more I realize that it should have developed a much better reputation
than it did.
To quote the late comedian Mitch Hedberg after one
of his jokes bombed on stage, "That joke was a lot
than you acted." That is the same way I feel about Honeymoon
Vegas. It is not a masterpiece of a movie by any stretch of
imagination, but it sure does well what it was trying to do well.
And I think it should be more beloved than it currently is.
It might be a little movie, but it is
a unique and
memorable and quirky and most importantly FUN little movie.
And of course the quotable
and rewatchable potential of Honeymoon in Vegas is practically off the
if you don't appreciate Nicolas Cage after watching this movie, I don't
know what to tell you. This is as good as he gets.
Come on Jack. Just a simple friendly game of poker.
You can't lose.
favorite IMDB user reviews about Honeymoon in Vegas
Funny and original
- 31 October 2001
in "Guarding Tess", I think this is where Nicolas Cage is at his best,
although this one takes the cake as far as his comedies go.
well-written, well-acted all around, original movie with some truly
hilarious moments and enough drama and complexity to make it a solid,
James Caan is perfect as the
love-stricken gangster, and his object of affection, Sarah Jessica
Parker, is also great as the fiance who slowly begins to come around to
his advances. (She's also quite easy to look at I might add).
goes wrong for Cage, as he races across hell and high water trying to
catch up with the girl he wants to marry, but of course wacky high-jinx
ensues. Hey, if nothing else, you can't go wrong with Las Vegas and
Hawaii as your two main locations. A very good, funny film.
One of the best!! - 11
can't believe this film didn't score higher in the ratings. This film
is one of my all-time favorite movies. Ever. Cage has remarkable comic
timing! The scene at the airport ticket counter is priceless! This is a
great film with excellent performances throughout. It never slows,
never lets up and tickles your funny bone all the way till the Elvis'
come to town. A highly recommended rental if you have not seen it yet.
This movie is a guaranteed winner.
A must for Elvis fans -
27 November 2000
an Elvis fanatic, this movie is a necessity. Its possible it contains
the word "Elvis" more than any other mainstream movie. The
impersonators of every nationality, the Flying Elvises at the climax
and, as user 'lawndale' pointed out, the soundtrack is one of the best.
Aside from the King, there is still a very funny movie here.
Cage was doing small comedies at the time ("Guarding Tess" and "It
Could Happen to You" are two of them), and this fits in with those
other light entertainments, as far as that goes. He does 'frustrated'
comedy pretty well; Ben Stiller would have been in this if it were made
today, since he seems to be the new 'victim' in today's comedies. All
the comedy is totally dependent on Cage's performance, and he delivers
in ways I would not have thought possible. His next trip to Vegas (in
"Leaving Las Vegas") should have been as much fun.
a fun and enjoyable
romantic comedy - 3 April 2005
was a really fun movie. I watched it solely because Nicolas Cage, one
of my favorite actors was in it, so I thought it couldn't be that bad.
And I was right. It was actually better then I thought it would be.
isn't any way to describe this movie except a lighter, funnier, sappier
version of Indecent proposal. While indecent proposal the book, was
great, the movie was pretty bad. This however, was a really fun time
from beginning to end. Cage and parker make an adorable screen couple
and James Caan was absolutely great. This movie hooks you, in the first
five minutes, and retains a fun atmosphere throughout. It doesn't hurt
that the two main settings for the movie are Las Vegas and Hawaii. The
movie will make you want to visit both places. It is also peppered with
unforgettable funny characters amidst two great settings, one a non
stop party(Vegas) and one stunning peaceful island beauty(Hawai).
also great about this movie is it is actually unpredictable in a few
places and I don't say that lightly because there are not a lot of
romantic comedies that can do that. Give you the warm fuzzies-oh yeah
most of them do that no problem, but it's the rare romantic comedy that
can leave you guessing.
For me, I didn't know, at first, who
parker's Betsy would actually end up with. Cage is at first, presented
as a jerk who yells almost non stop through the first part. And Tommy
actually appears to be, if a little questionable, genuinely attracted
to Parker. And the two have chemistry as well. So I wasn't quite sure
which road the movie would choose to take.
That Tommy ultimately
becomes much nastier then he was at first presented was, to me, at
first a disappointment, and didn't seem to go with what I'd seen so
far, but the end made it worth it as this tops many romantic comedies
with it's Completely over the top yet somehow appropriate, ending. The
sky diving sequence was thrilling, not to mention how fun the Elvis
impersonators were. This movie is an easy 7, maybe even a bit
higher(7.5) and is a movie I'd completely recommend, it's fun, it's
funny, it's pretty, and it's well acted. Makes a great summer's late
night watch and should be rated a bit higher on here.
It may be because i'm a
Nic Cage worshiper but I just love this movie. - 1 February 2011
may be because i'm a Nic Cage worshiper but I just love this movie.
It's predictable at first but after a while your not entirely sure how
it's going to end because both Nic and Caan start to both become the
lead character in the movie and your never too sure who Sarah Jessica
Parker is going to end up with in the end. Speaking of Sarah Jessica
Parker she actually doesn't look bad in this movie, she ain't horsey or
nothing'. The best parts of the movie are when Nic is just screaming
and acting like a mental case at the strangest things and you can
really feel all of the stress that he's going through just to get his
girlfriend back. I recommend this movie to anyone who is a Nic Cage fan
or if you want to like SJP for once.
We're caught in a trap...
- 4 October 1999
"Honeymoon in Vegas" has BY FAR one of the best soundtracks EVER-- the
wide array of Elvis cover-songs is simply amazing: Billy Joel's take on
"All Shook Up" and Dwight Yoakam's [he's the singer who covered Queen's
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" for the Gap commercial, fyi] rendition
of "Suspicious Minds" really stand out among a truly stellar
collection. Hearing this music in the background will carry you through
most of the less-than-interesting moments of "Vegas."
Parker, Cage, and the soundtrack make "Honeymoon in
Vegas," at the very least, a WATCHABLE film with some very enjoyable
moments scattered throughout. It's worth seeing once, and the
soundtrack is definitely worth picking up from the discount bins.
favorite quotes in Honeymoon in Vegas
This movie is stuffed to the brim with great quotes, but here
are four that immediately pop into my head and always make me laugh
[Mahi Mahi and Jack drive up to Chief Orman's house, which is a
dilapadated old hut.]
Orman have pretty big influence around here.
Jack Singer [pissed]:
Influence? He lives in a SHACK!
[Mahi Mahi offers to console Jack with some parting advice.]
Hey, always remember, E hoopuka i na olelo maikai wale no mai kau
waha-aku. It means always have the good words come out of your mouth.
That just doesn’t help me at all. But I appreciate the thought.
[A panicked Jack is causing a scene at a Hawaiian airport.]
Ticket agent: Please,
sir, if you don't get back in line...
Jack Singer [freaking
out]: Then, WHAT? I'll be ARRESTED? Put... IN
[Jack is frantically trying to get directions from the operator over a
Hawaiian pay phone.]
Jack Singer [freaking
out]: Is It Kapa'a or Kapa'aa? Kapa'a
or Kapa'aa? IS IT TWO A'S OR THREE?!?
favorite scene in Honeymoon in Vegas:
There are a lot of funnier moments in the movie, but the scene where
Jack is arguing with the phone operator over the pronounciation of
Kapa'a versus Kapa'aa is my personal favorite. There is no
you can visit Hawaii, and look at the name of a road sign, and not
think of that scene.
"Well, as the King himself said, there aint nothing in this world
foolproof, except hookers and Coupe de Villes."
at the IMDB
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