As has been a theme in my movie thoughts recently, the ending to a movie can make or break it. As I watched Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, never having seen it before, I laughed occasionally, thinking it was a capable but far from excellent comedy.
Steve Martin hams it up, and Michael Caine plays a gentlemanly Englishman with aplomb, as he usually does. There are enough jokes for the story to keep its momentum, but I saw myself forgetting the movie shortly after it was over.
And then we get to the movie’s ending. Unlike those recent movies whose endings I haven’t thought done their respective movies justice, this one did quite the opposite. The ending threw me for such a loop it brought even more meaning to everything I’d seen earlier in the movie. I won’t spoil the reveal here, but it surprised me, earning a hard and heartfelt laugh, and made the entire movie worthwhile.
It turned the movie, in my view, from a 3-star forgettable experience to a 5-star movie I would consider owning and would certainly watch again in the future. If you haven’t seen it before, I definitely recommend it.