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Catch Me If You Can

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Walken, Amy Adams, Martin Sheen, Frank John Hughes and Brian Howe
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG-13

 

Catch Me If You Can is wicked cute but alas super long. I adore Tom Hanks, who doesn't, but after about two hours of watching him meander towards the plot, chasing Leo around the globe, I got all sleepy-woo-woo and hit the concession stand like a rabid Tyrannosaurus Rex awakened on an empty stomach when the house lights finally illuminated!

We meet a handsome young buck named Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his little family. They seem happy and functional…but dad (Christopher- do we got time for a quick soft shoe?- Walken) has some financial problems with the evil IRS. They are closing in on him and the pressure starts to rock the homey family unit.

Frank Jr. thinks he'd be best suited away from the toil and trouble and runs away. Rather than get a legit job to support himself he quickly learns people see what they are willing to hear. Also that people in power, err, uniforms - particularly Pan Am pilot uniforms- get the money, chicks and glory. You can almost see the idea bulb blinking above the lad's head.

Of course Frank's got no time for pesky training or years of complicated study so he fairly simply finagles his way into a Pan Am co-pilot position - sort of - and thus begins a lucrative career as a dapper con man.

His antics are instantly noticed by FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom - what can't I do - Hanks). Because you see Frank not only poses as a pilot (and so on…), he uses his uniform to befuddle unsuspecting debutante-like tellers into handing him bangs of cash via forged checks. Mr. Hanrattybobattyfoefatty runs the FBI's fraud department and wants this clown - bad.
They meet up and start an odd kind of relationship leading ultimately to Frank's capture….

But CMIYC is a Steven Spielberg film so it's beautifully shot, well acted, filled with delightful details and, naturally, long winded. We know to just settle in for the long haul. I have thought what is it that keeps this from being great? Just its detail - which normally does just the opposite. It's like, "Okay, we got it", then " We get it already..." but yet the film still projects. Don't get me wrong it's fun just not good enough fun.

The highlight among the champions in the film is really Christopher Walken. He plays Frank senior and has a glorious run of it. Christopher brings a layered soul to a poor schmoe of a guy that got the bum deal on life in the long run. Frank Sr. is that mamaluke that never quite made it all come together. Walken fans will be delighted.

Leo's his usual adorable boy-man self. He was like a little Ken doll in all the sixties and seventies outfits they paraded him around in. Not since Blow has one actor donned so many runway worthy coordinates!

Tom Hanks is just cut from that whole star-of-another-era mold so rare today. He's not that old - but you feel like you're watching a golden era player dole out his lines. He is - as always - just there and impeccable.

The film's just too long and there's not enough to keep your undying attentions. If you love Hanks or DiCaprio ya gotta go. If not? Hmm.

Blunt Aside: The titles designed by Agnès Deygas at the very beginning of the film were fantastic and noteworthy!

Snack recommendation: Sara Lee Cherry cheesecake with dollops of mouse churned butter.


 

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