Something Wild is such a truly fantastic motion picture that lives up to its' equally fantastic title. I almost do not know where to begin.
It is sexy as all get out, funny, scary, posits a healthy and refreshingly diverse world/community (much like John Waters' later films- Waters, along with John Sayles have great cameos in the film), has a freaking great soundtrack, including the Feelies as the High School Reunion band (The Willies), and works marvelously well as a popcorn munching movie entertainment.
Jeff Daniels' performance is the real revelation here but there are great performances throughout, notably Ray Liotta (in his first film.) Sadly, Ms Griffith has never come anywhere near close to this performance since.
Many people probably grumble about the last act of the film, the violence, the complete tone and style change. I seem to remember thinking as much when I left the theater back in Austim, where I saw it w/ my buddy, Kevin Parker.
But I see now that that last act is absolutely essential to the success of the film. Yes, it is a comedy, but the stakes have to be raised. Jeff Daniels has to see the perils of actually doing "something wild", that you do not just get the Scotch and crazy hotel sex and Lulu for free.
That is the whole point of this great film. How many of us live safe, predictable, dare I say, boring lives strictly due to the fear of actually walking out on that ledge or limb?
I think it is Demme's finest film, better even than The Silence of the Lambs. An absolute must-see.
What is my favorite moment? The young girl outside the church asking Jeff Daniels, "Mister, you alright?" and then her sweet arm gesture after he reassures her he's okay.
(My least favorite? The slow motion on Liotta getting his smokes, pretty corny and unnecessary.)