Hudsucker Proxy, The (1994)

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

One of the Coen Brothers more obscure offerings is an old-fashioned screwball satire on big business, as if Frank Capra had decided to make Brazil (1985) by way of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

It's sly and inventive, if not quite as funny as it's supposed to be. The razzle-dazzle tends to substitute for heart, for characters the audience cares about. The theme of "New York as perfected cartoon rudeness" is pretty thick.

Drawing closest in our affections is Jennifer Jason Leigh's hard-bitten, fast-talking girl reporter, either channeling Katharine Hepburn or just making up her own fantasy posh accent. The earnest boy from Muncie eventually melts her big city heart.

I'd actually like to see a feature in the same universe starring her and reporter pal "Smitty", played by Bruce Campbell.

Sam Raimi co-wrote the script and did some direction.

Warner Archive Blu-ray.