February 7, 2019  (Web Review)

Good Times

Kino Lorber, 91 min., not rated, DVD: $19.99, Blu-ray: $29.99

Reviewer rating: 1.5/4

William Friedkin made his feature directing debut with this pop music vehicle built on the popularity of the chart-topping duo Sonny and Cher, one of dozens of such low-budget films that proliferated throughout the 1960s. This comedy, which stars Sonny Bono and Cher playing fictionalized versions of themselves knocking around Los Angeles and spoofing Hollywood movies in daydream sequences, is one of the lesser films of the era. Sonny is the creative force and business manager of the act while Cher is the free spirit whose drive is more personal and private. Sonny takes the lead in the fantasy sequences, playing an incompetent sheriff in a Western, a jungle swinger in a modern treehouse home in a Tarzan parody, and a private eye in a hard-boiled detective spoof. George Sanders costars as the insidious corporate tycoon who shows up as the villain in each of the fantasy sequences. While Sonny and Cher are presented as counterculture figures, the comedy is totally square and clumsily executed (the duo was much funnier in the free-wheeling skits of their subsequent TV variety show). Diehard fans may find this fun but it’s more interesting as a cultural artifact and historical oddity than as a movie. Extras include audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin and an interview with director Friedkin. Not a necessary purchase. (S. Axmaker)