Submarine Comedies – Netflix DVD Blog

In the spring of my junior year of high school, my nana, a lifelong NYC resident, decided it was finally time to stop driving and opted to donate her car to her grandson and his newly minted driver’s license. As I lived on the West Coast, my mother and I flew to New York and took a week driving it back across the country. Now, my mother is a bonafide church-going lady who dislikes cursing and thinks only sailors and inmates should have tattoos; We disagree on just about everything except that Frasier is the greatest TV show of all time. So, when we pulled into the middle of nowhere Minnesota, a movie starring Kelsey Grammer seemed like an easy compromise to pass the evening.

Lt. Commander Thomas Dodge, for the third time, is up for promotion to captain his own submarine. He’s a talented leader but his impulsivity, loose command style, and drunken shore-leave hijinks run up against the by-the-book ethos of Admiral Graham (Bruce Dern). However, Admiral Winslow (Rip Torn), also on the promotion committee, disagrees and thinks Dodge’s experience and outside-the-box thinking is just what the Navy needs. To settle the matter, they devise a war gaming exercise where if Dodge is victorious, he gets his promotion. Of course Admiral Graham sees to it that winning will be practically impossible by giving him an antiquated boat, a bumbling crew, and a pilot program to test how well a female officer could serve aboard a submarine.

This being a goofy slapstick comedy you can count on plenty of juvenile humor and innuendo. Now I’m not going to argue that this is some kind of underrated masterpiece, but if you enjoy film a la The Naked Gun, you’ll probably find a lot to laugh at. With only a 30 million dollar budget, you have an incredible amount of talent and they really have fun playing off each other. In addition to the cast already listed, you’ll also see Harry Dean Stanton, William H. Macy, Lauren Holly, and Rob Schneider. Where else are you going to see Oscar-nominated actors, during the opening credits, debate if “it’s good policy for the navy to hand over a billion dollar piece of equipment to a man who has ‘Welcome Aboard’ tattooed on his…” well , let’s just say ‘mast’ and leave it at that.

I’ve never seen my mother laugh so hard in her life. For reasons I’ll never understand and she can’t articulate, this has become one of if not her most-watched films. Honestly, I expected her to leave within the first five minutes, but she stayed for the whole thing and had a great time. So if this doesn’t sound like something that would typically float your boat, give it a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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