I seem to recall that back in the 80’s there were several films that had titles beginning with the word “my.” My Bodyguard, My Tutor, My Science Project, My Demon Lover. I guess it’s an easy go-to title format. I mean you could do my anything! My Mailman…My Pet Doctor…My Ruptured Spleen. In the case of our film today it’s a story that involves a plucky young woman being hired by a stuffy limousine service in 1986’s My Chauffeur.
The film stars Deborah Foreman (of Valley Girl fame) as Casey Meadows. Casey is working as a dishwasher until one day when she receives a mysterious job offer from the Brentwood Limousine Service. This comes as a surprise to Mr. McBride (Howard Hesseman), the manager, but it turns out that her job offer comes from the owner of the company himself, Mr. Witherspoon (E.G. Marshall). Most of the other drivers make it clear that they do not want a woman around. Only one old-timer, O’Brien (Jeremy McClory), takes Casey under his wing to teach her the ways of being a Chauffeur.
Casey ends up with a variety of assignments, including having to get a stoned rock singer to a gig on time. One day she has to drive for the rich young businessman Battle Witherspoon (Sam Jones), who also happens to be Mr. Witherspoon’s son. On this particular day, Battle (who names their son Battle?) is distraught over having been dumped by his girlfriend. His response is to do what any guy would do…strip down to nothing and run around in a park scarring women and children. A few days later, Casey has to drive for him again. This time the car breaks down and the two are forced to trudge through hot sun and pouring rain. Of course, when they make it to a secluded cottage, the two start to fall for each other.
My Chauffeur takes quite a few wrong turns, unfortunately. The casting of Deborah Foreman was a solid choice; Foreman has always been very likeable. However, the script makes Casey look like little more than a goofball. It feels like the filmmakers tried to make her a combination of several famous ladies who were popular at the time. She dresses like Madonna, complete with the retro sunglasses and fingerless lace gloves…but she squeals and bounces around like she’s Cyndi Lauper. There’s nothing really about the character to make the audience fall in love with her, so its a mystery why Sam Jones’ character does. Speaking of Sam Jones…oh boy. He’s most famous for having played Flash Gordon; a role for which his own voice was dubbed over by another actor. If you ever wondered why, well this film gives more than a few hints to that. His performance is all over the place. The scene where he gets naked and runs around the park is just plain embarrassing.
The one moment of the film that is somewhat enjoyable is the first movie appearance of Penn and Teller. This comes late in the film when Casey and Battle’s (that name…geez) relationship has hit the skids a bit. She is given the job of picking up a middle eastern sheik played by Teller. As she picks him up, a street hustler, played by Penn, sneaks into the limo and joins the ride. He starts doing various card tricks to try and con the sheik out of his cash and expensive watches. Soon the sheik and the hustler are partying together with a limo full of chicks. The sequence has no bearing on the story at all and is about as shoehorned in as you can get. However, the filmmakers wisely just let Penn and Teller do their thing, which works quite well. Though I will say there’s no mistaking Teller for a middle eastern sheik.
Sadly, the Penn and Teller sequence if the film’s one bright spot. Ultimately what we have is a clunky romantic comedy. Thing is it isn’t funny enough to call it a comedy, and not romantic enough to call it a love story. So when it comes to My Chauffeur, stick to getting rides from Uber.